It’s over

Days from now will come hard evidence the fling is done. House prices have finally pushed past the point of sustainability. And that noise you are about to hear is moaning from the Lower Mainland – our own dank little subprime rain forest.

It had to happen, of course. No Canadian city can see the average SFH rise to $1 million, especially one where the average income is $83,130, and expect it to last. And all that stuff about the Asian Invasion being responsible for a permanent escalation in real estate values is so much marketing hype manufactured by creative dinks like Cam Good.

He’s the Vancouver marketing guru who’s been playing the supplicant BC media for the fools they are. He hired a helicopter, for example, to fly local Chinese-Canadian real estate agents over a new condo in White Rock, then spun it as a landmark aerial bombardment of Mainland Chinese dollars on the region. That’s exactly the story the TV reporters wrote, from the back of the Air Scare copter.

And days ago the Vancouver Sun ran a column he wrote castigating people for blaming rising prices in places like Richmond and Richmond Hill on the yellow peril – when he’s been the main igniter of conflict, envy and greed.

“If you suffer from real estate impotence, don’t blame Chinese people. Besides, getting all worked up about it will only make it worse. Have a glass of wine. Relax. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and pick up the phone to call a realtor or a mortgage broker, either of whom will be more than happy to show you how easy it can be to get your real estate groove on.”

But actually, you might want to wait. The market’s started to crumble. The Cam copter just ate turf.

These are internal stats (MLS) from the Vancouver Real Estate Board:

The Richmond market, ground zero for China frenzy, has died.

  • Listings have exploded. The number has more than doubled since the beginning of March (going from 400 to 850).
  • Sales have collapsed. In February, 250 properties sold. In March, sales were 260. In April, it looks like 120 – down 52%.
  • Inventory is swelling. In February there were enough homes listed to last 1.5 months. That has suddenly shot up to 7 months.

And even on the west side of Vancouver, where ugly boxes built 40 years ago were overrun during open houses and have been selling for $1.3 million, sales volumes have just plopped by 30%. Across the entire Van area, it looks like sales volumes will be lower in April by 20%. So much for the Spring market.

Says my source, Deep Throb: “I would expect to see Richmond prices fall by 20% by summer. They had a super spike but the sales have now stopped.  Vancouver West – still showing effects from lack of inventory and some serious Asian money on the demand side.

“Inventory at end of April should come in approx 10% below last year.  We’ll see where this goes but the market is showing some signs of cracks at the fringes and people are tapped out for ability to pay.”

Of course they’re tapped out. It now takes more than 70% of gross household income to carry the average Vancouver property. Across Canada, it’s almost 50%. Factor in rising interest rates (the next Bank of Canada announcements are May 31 and July 19), higher taxes (that happens after May 2nd), an economy drop-kicked by a $1.05 dollar, structural unemployment and flatlined wages, and there are no economic fundamentals supporting the housing market. Only hormones. Media drivel. Marketing dinks. Delusion. Public hysteria. Your idiot father-in-law. And Chinese. It’s over.

And with that, we whisk to Winnipeg, where Jimmy the musician writes:

I’m an affectionate and fairly new reader of your blog. I’m not in a great position to take much of your advice, sadly, but I’d like to offer you (and maybe your readers, who knows) a different perspective on why I rent.

I’m a professional musician. Having just filed my income taxes, I am known to have made roughly $21,000 last year. Okay, so I’m not in house-buying territory in the first place, so the greater part of the Greater Fool blog isn’t of much practical use to me. Except, of course, that I am in house-buying territory. My partner and I pay roughly $900 in rent a month jointly, meaning that I could find myself holding the reins of a $200,000 mortgage if I so chose (according to certain banks), and replace monthly rental fees with monthly interest payments. And in Winnipeg, where I live, you can find a decent piece of real estate for $200,000. I don’t plan to, and I don’t want to. All financial considerations aside, here’s why:

I don’t have to worry one whit about taking care of this place where I live. I don’t have to cut grass, shovel snow, clean eaves, paint the walls, deal with flooded basements, renovate, rewire, call the plumber, fix the windows, or clean up after inconsiderate people’s dogs. I don’t have time for all of that. I’m a musician – my spare time is called for; I have to practice, to write, to run around the city to do my job (and to read blogs). I can’t be bothered to look after a house. My share of $900 / month is well worth the price.

Plus, I’m doing better than the 40% of Canadians (apparently) who have no savings! I couldn’t believe that when I read it.  How can I be financially better off than people making five times my income? I manage to put away what amounts to a monthly pittance now, but if I do it long enough (and musicians don’t tend to have a fixed retirement date) will hopefully add up to something where I can continue to live as I do now into my twilight years.

So tell me. How is it that an apartment-dwelling professional musician clearing $21,000 a year is in a better financial situation than 40% of the country? And, honestly, how bad is it that I am?

Let me know if your blog ever needs a theme song.

I’m taking requests.


#1 WB on 04.24.11 at 8:57 pm

Garth, is there any way to block your less intelligent readers who waste our time by posting “first”?

Would that include you tonight? — Garth

#2 Mr. Lee on 04.24.11 at 9:02 pm

The day that a house became an investment vehicle is the day that a house abided by the same principles as other investment vehicles. Psychology always plays into a market, no matter what. That being the case the same psychology that drives up the market invariably drives the market down.

#3 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 04.24.11 at 9:14 pm


Jimmy the musician is an inspiration for those who live within their means.

Those living outside their means, it’s a tightrope out there. For confirmation, please read Garth’s headline: “It’s over.”

So in the Lower Mainland the bubble has burst and the cleanup will begin later this year, and go on and on and on.

The effects on the “housing industry” will be simply amazing. Victoria will get clocked, too. No doubt about it.

To those recent RE arrivals out there, you got what you deserved, not what you wanted. Enjoy.

To Jimmy. A good theme song might be: “Sing a song of sixpence.”

Good luck to you.

PS: Check out the overnight commodities prices. Gold, silver, and oil are up, while the US dollar index is in 73 territory a technically very bad place to be. Very bad indeed. Bonne Chance.

#4 Dmitri on 04.24.11 at 9:15 pm

Jimmy, I am not a poet or musician. How about the song and here is the main theme:
“I am making money and I flash it down the drain, I don’t like what I do but I have to, so I work even harder so I can make more money and can flash more money down the drain. This is patriotic, because hordes of agents can take my money claim it as an income and flush it down the drain too!!! Down the drain, down the drain…” Just make the song out of it! By the way, keep doing what are you doing! You love what you do and this is important and you have head on your neck and you might be surprised to find yourself well off one day, seriously. Good luck!

#5 Tim on 04.24.11 at 9:24 pm

Do we have similar information for the GTA (Markham) Market ?

#6 John Murray on 04.24.11 at 9:27 pm

I agree Mr Lee.

In all the hoo haa about the stability of bricks and mortar, people forgot that old adage about high returns equal high risk.

Australians are now flocking to the US market to gather the dropped lollies (property investors take delight in gaining from others suffering I am afraid) little realising that there will not be any significant gains for at least another generation, if not two.

A lot of greater fools down under- down under!

#7 Ayn Rand on 04.24.11 at 9:29 pm

Interesting stats. Do you have any for the GTA?

G&M article today –

I just finished Greater Fool, thanks a good read. I also recommend Millionaire Next Door (from 1996).

BTW, what is the name of the October book?

State secret. — Garth

#8 Mr. Reality on 04.24.11 at 9:29 pm

Get ready folks, this next recession will be long slow and painful.

Renting never felt so good!

Mr. R.

#9 Utopia on 04.24.11 at 9:45 pm

Hey Jimmy, I think the song was already written. Roger Miller did it. If you do a rendition though then post it up because it looks like the past may indeed become the future.

Now about that book Garth is writing…you say its called “State Secret”? OK, I’ll buy that. Sounds good to me.

#10 Debtfree on 04.24.11 at 9:48 pm

@ 208 u it’s no myth in 1812 Canadians were British subjects and so were the first nations that were slaughtered by US raiders .

If I were the usa I’d also want to pretend that getting your ass handed to you by Fench Canadien volunteers in Monteal was a myth.

#11 LJ on 04.24.11 at 9:52 pm

The song should be called: “House hunting virgin property blues” and should be akin to the Talking Heads “Burning down the house.” Especially the second verse.

“Watch out, you might get what you’re after
Cool babies, strange but not a stranger
I’m an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

Hold tight, wait ’till the party’s over
Hold tight, we’re in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house…” – David Byrne

***Well, the party’s over and the economy is looking like nasty weather.

#12 Uki_7 on 04.24.11 at 10:00 pm

I will buy “State secret” too !

#13 OnlyTheBankersLaugh on 04.24.11 at 10:00 pm–olive-an-ailing-ireland-s-lessons-for-canada

Fascinating, because the Star actually published it, article about lessons learned for Canada from Ireland’s debacle and 3rd world debt status after property speculation there without enough people or fundamentals to keep it going up, up and up. While I believe our fair country is far better off than Ireland from a resource point of view, we have faced the same drain on manufacturing and on professional jobs, the same delusion on houses being the only asset class we should cherish and a GOVERNMENT stupid enough to burden its citizens with the catastrophic risk associated with CMHC loans to everyone and allowing free money at lowest rates in hostory for prolonged periods of time. I think the fear when this thing finally breaks is going to be unreal. I have a very intelligent architect here in Burlington who said that he was talking to his realtor neighbour and realtor mentioned a potential slowdown and minor drop in price after such a great run in prices here but, mr realtor said, it won’t drop in burlington/oakville as they are untouchable areas.

As everyone on this blog who’s been here for some time, it’s astounding that no one knows how much risk we are in by guaranteeing bank mortgage debt by taxpayers and having commissioned bank mortgage sales people operate within this environment.

There is an election coming. Please read Flaherty’s foreshadowing of Canada as Ireland! It’s funny if it weren’t so close to the truth

#14 SP on 04.24.11 at 10:03 pm

Garth, for those of us who don’t yet own a shelter and have say $250K or more currently sitting in a sickly 2% orange/purple GIC thinking of investing elsewhere. Would you suggest to invest in a diversified liquid portfolio (which may experience volatility going forward) earning some more % or wait to fish for a shelter at this real estate downturn? Thanks,

Nobody should have money making 2%. Real estate affordability could be two years off. Of course you should invest – there are many choices with high liquidity and acceptable risk. — Garth

#15 Utopia on 04.24.11 at 10:03 pm

“The Richmond market, ground zero for China frenzy, has died….Listings have exploded. The number has more than doubled since the beginning of March (going from 400 to 850)…..Sales have collapsed” ~~Garth

Well that sounds more like it. THAT is what was supposed to happen once fear overtook greed and everyone stormed for the exits at once.

Honestly, this insanity has gone on for so long that even I was doubting when the end might arrive. When the basics of supply and demand might finally kick in. So it is finally here. And no surprise it came during an election. Seems about right to me.

A doubling of listings in little more than fifty days is pretty dramatic stuff though. My contention has always been that on the day of reckoning, the Chinese would be the first to bail out of the market in a big hurry, not the last.

I think that may be what we are seeing here now. Word is out perhaps that the Richmond market was over-ripe and ready to pop and drop from the vine.

You know, the plate-tectonic specialists have speculated for years that one day housing in Richmond would collapse as a result of an earthquake and a sudden liquifaction of the soils.

Perhaps they really meant liquidation. They were so right.

#16 Publius Enigma on 04.24.11 at 10:10 pm

I’m torn between “Highway to Hell” and “The Final Countdown”.

Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” probably wouldn’t work for this blog.

#17 Utopia on 04.24.11 at 10:14 pm

#10 Debtfree

Great point Debtfree. I take it all back. We were subjects then.

#18 wes_coast on 04.24.11 at 10:20 pm

I rent a house that would cost me double to service as a mortgage. The math is so simple my 5 year old gets it. Half price. Zero risk. Yet my coworkers don’t understand why I am not ‘building equity’ through a mortgage. You can’t get negative rent but you can get negative equity. Soon enough they will sadly learn this the hard way.

#19 skyrider on 04.24.11 at 10:20 pm

re: #193, yesterday

Hugh Hendry tears a strip off Jeffrey Sachs….nice clip

#20 my 2 cents on 04.24.11 at 10:23 pm

Theme song ideas:
Frederic Chopin – “Funeral March”
Beethoven – Funeral March
“The Morning After” from the Poseidon Adventure

#21 Drew on 04.24.11 at 10:34 pm

Garth – what are your thoughts about buying a modular home and sticking it on an empty lot in high end Montreal? The houses around it are selling for 700k. the lot is 350 and I can get a nice modular home for 150k. Could the 200k in equity evaporate?

sorry to hijack the comment section.

Good luck with the property cops. — Garth

#22 lookinin on 04.24.11 at 10:40 pm

Oh boy, if it reads, it bleeds. And Garth keeps feeding the fear furnace for those readers that have never taken a greater risk than drinking hot coffee with the lid off. Yes, Hongcouver is nuts, but my God, what a wonderful country we live in. So much doom and gloom just makes my skin crawl.

#23 Ex-Cowtown on 04.24.11 at 10:42 pm

I believe the mantra of Canada as a “resource based economy” awash in “petro-dollars” is mistaken. It will not take a meltdown in the resource industry to massively whack the Canadian economy. Resources are no be all and end all all-purpose saviour.

The RE industry melting down will severely hurt the economy though, as it comprises 20-25% of GDP.
Bear in mind, only 10% of U.S. homeowners got in trouble to start with and look at the ripple effect that had.

In any meltdown, there are still pockets of resiliency. The entire economy does not have to fail catastrophically. It will still be possible to make money in a recession/depression. But not everyone will be able to do it as the opportunities will be small and localized.

Think small mammals crawling across the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction boundary and the dinosaurs perishing.

Some will always survive and flourish.

Just a quick question for everyone out there:

Are for sale signs as numerous as campaign signs in your neighborhood? If Re-Max was running out here they’d be ahead of the Green Party and the Liberals, and just behind the NDP.

#24 VJGoh on 04.24.11 at 10:47 pm

Hey Garth, I just wanted to mention that after a couple years of reading your blog, I’ve started marshalling my resources and moving money into TFSAs and various stocks and ETFs. I’m going to have my partner invest her share in some REITs (we diversify by holding different types of investments; it’s all the same money in the end).

I’m curious to know if there’s a BAD time to hold REITs. I used to live in Edmonton, and I noticed that when times were good, rents went up, and when times are bad, rents kept going up. It seems like these guys’ll make money forever no matter what.

I’m in my early 30s, and only a few of my friends even care about this sort of thing, so it’s not that easy to discuss or figure out where to start. I’m really glad your blog (and your books) are around for dudes like me. Seriously, thanks.

Buy well-run REITs, such as those I have mentioned here (both residential and commercial), and you should do just fine. There are no threats large enough now to impair their ongoing performance. — Garth

#25 S.B. on 04.24.11 at 10:56 pm

What about John Mellencamp’s Little Pink Houses?

“There’s a black man with a black cat livin’ in a black neighborhood
He’s got an interstate runnin’ through his front yard
You know he thinks that he’s got it so good
And there’s a woman in the kitchen cleanin’ up the evenin’ slop
And he looks at her and says, “Hey darlin’, I can remember when
you could stop a clock.”

Oh but ain’t that America for you and me
Ain’t that America somethin’ to see baby
Ain’t that America home of the free
Little pink houses for you and me”

#26 Not Rich-mond on 04.24.11 at 11:02 pm

Toronto seems solid as a rock. For now.

– Sales humming along quite nicely.
– New listings way down.
– Price moving up.

Not suggesting that the GTA is immune. I suspect its time will come. But I thought March 18th was going to be the turning point (as it appears to have been in Richmond) and it wasn’t.

Still waiting.

March 18th was four weeks ago. Are you serious? — Garth

#27 Ex-Cowtown on 04.24.11 at 11:11 pm

Is there a cap on CMHC backing? Or are tax payers on the kook for whatever idiotic amount someone is willing to sign for?

#28 The Phantom on 04.24.11 at 11:18 pm

Evening All (and Garth):

As I once mentioned (and the musician’s story depicts), many Canadians have a spending problem as opposed to an income problem. That someone can make a paltry $21,000/yr, pay half of a $900/mo rental, be debt free and still have more money in the bank than 40% of the rest of Canadians bears mute witness to the fact that we are a society that looks with disdain upon living within our means! It underscores the premise that we hold the notion of delayed gratification in a degree of contempt or, in the very least, as a relic from a bygone era. Further, those who advise us to set aside some of our income each and every month or at least take those pleasant windfalls (like income tax returns and Co-op rebates) and sequester them away as a contingency fund are viewed as old-fashioned or old school for espousing that belief. This posture has seen countless Canadians spending 2013’s income in 2010 or 2014’s income as this paragraph is being typed…

Call me old fashioned (and I’ll wear it with a badge of honor even at the age of 45) but our TFSAs are maxed out…Revenue Canada is sending me a $6,000 refund this year (yes it surprised me as well but I trust our accountant) and that money is going into a cash account for investments, not into someone else’s till IOT to indulge some primal desire to replace my older 20″ TV with the state of the art home entertainment system…I appreciate that wouldn’t necessarily be everyone’s choice but it means that we have options around our house, we have fewer worries as a result of the savings we have accrued and even my older son thinks that it is neat that we are setting aside and favouring the posture of security tomorrow over and against that of immediate pleasure today…It means for instance that when my spouse is laid off from her EA position this June that she can spend the summer home with the children, engage in activities with them and not frantically reconcile work schedules with soccer, day camp or sleepovers. It means that even though I’ll work a bit more once I return home from the training I currently find myself doing that we won’t be losing financial ground each month during July, August and September…

I recall reading or hearing once that every Canadian household should have at least 6 months wages saved as a “rainy day” fund. I am unsure if that is still the suggested amount or if that has changed in any way but those caught in the iron grip of materialism a will be hard pressed to achieve that end. Granted for several years, my wife and I relied upon our RRSP’s as that hedge (or a six month buffer) but trimming costs, looking to do events more economically (and yes even accepting previously used clothing for our children…GASP!!!) has made substantive differences. Anyway, I wish that more of us could look to the example set by the musician show cased tonight. Moreover, I would advise those who find themselves in the dual income, high wage, high debt, excruciatingly painful monthly payment squeeze to review where their priorities really lie; to take stock and list those items that are honestly the most important to them and start making the changes required to safeguard the most treasured of these: be it family, financial freedom, the ability to work fewer hours (I know I run the risk of hypocrisy here but our children had a Mom at home so that was the reason for working the crazy hours I kept between 3 jobs through the preceding years). What some folks are going to apprehend is the fact that making those shifts now, prioritizing what is truly important today (family, smaller scale operations with less or no debt) means they won’t have to do so quite as hastily when those changes are foisted upon them in the future. Quite honestly, it will mean that when times of change come, the transition will be more melodic as those who heed these suggestions will already “be sharp”…

The Phantom

#29 Tom from Mississauga on 04.24.11 at 11:26 pm


#30 Not Rich-mond on 04.24.11 at 11:28 pm

“March 18th was four weeks ago. Are you serious? — Garth”


I would have expected sales to drop quickly from that point forward as the demand would have been pulled forward to that date. Look at charts of the sales against HST implementation and last mortgage rule change dates — very noticeable sales pattern.

This time, not so much. Give that mortgage apps have been shallow since the new year, I was admittedly surprised by April mid-month resilience in Toronto, which I expected to follow a more Richmond-esque pattern as reported above.

But what do I know.

So Garth: when do you you expect the tide to turn in those cities?

#31 mikef on 04.24.11 at 11:29 pm

Like the Vancouver Cannots, this sucker is going down.


#32 not 1st on 04.24.11 at 11:44 pm

Why does this site always get emails from people who don’t have a clue about financing. First it was some guy making $170k a year and couldnt afford his mortgage and now its some starving artist in Winterpeg telling us how its done.

I would like to see a rich boomer or established person who is wealthy write in and tell us what they are doing with their real estate holdings. I will bet 9 out of 10 will never sell it.

#33 Not Fooled By Property Spruikers Hype on 04.24.11 at 11:44 pm

Need a Theme Song?

Try this!!

Spruikers Anthem (Sung to Dolly Partomn’s 9-5) Tumble outta bed And stumble to the kitchen Pour myself a cup of ambition Yawning, stretching, try to come to life,

Jump in the shower And my Heart Starts THUMPING Out on the streets PROPERTY IS SLUMPING And folks like me in a Bank Job job from 9 to 5,

Workin 9 to 5 in a RUT to make a livin Barely gettin by Its all takin And no givin I never use my mind & I plan to live on credit Its enough to drive me Crazy if I let it ____

9 to 5 in this Bank erning not ennuf to make a livin, You would think that I would some kinda of notion.. Want to move ahead But HOUSING MARKET wont seem let me,I swear sometimes that this PROPERTY WORLD is out to get me Mmmmm…

I Had a dream & Just to watch em shatter. cause I just slipped down the property ladder, But Ive got dream they will never take away ,

In the same SINKING boat With a lot of my friends Waitin for the day My ship will come in And finally the PROPERTY tides gonna turn my And it’s all gonna roll my away,

Workin 9 to 5 in a Bank Rut Job is no way to Make a livin, Barely gettin by, Property will be my haven, I must use my mind & get me even more CREDIT Its enough to drive you Crazy if you let it .. whoooo Oooh

#34 NFN on 04.24.11 at 11:45 pm

That someone can make a paltry $21,000/yr, pay half of a $900/mo rental, be debt free and still have more money in the bank than 40% of the rest of Canadians bears mute witness to the fact that we are a society that looks with disdain upon living within our means!


Is there any greater proof that someone is financially retarded than “time shares”. I’ve never understood them. People are always gifting their time shares that they are too busy to use themselves. Fixed time slot, pre-paid and overpriced vacation in at a predetermined spot. If there is anything worse than owning property it has to be time sharing it.

#35 Dan in Victoria on 04.24.11 at 11:45 pm

Well Jimmy maybe this is your big break.
Just like Hoyt Curtin.

#36 mikef on 04.24.11 at 11:56 pm

You want a theme song Garth?

Take your pick gang.Prefer the first and the one’s with the kids.

#37 Min in Mission on 04.25.11 at 12:02 am

@28 Phantom, correct in many ways. My wife, and I, are working hard to recover from a couple of “life reversals” that have happened in the past. As a result, we sometimes feel like we are just starting out all over again! However, using many of the same ideas/techniques that you mentioned, we are making some headway and are not afraid of the future.

#38 Randis on 04.25.11 at 12:02 am

First of all, yes I vote for a theme song …

Second … Here is an excerpt for the Portfolio Management Technique Course (PMT) offered by CSI, where in one section it describes Real Estate as an alternative investments, and here it is … (Mind you, CSI is one of the leading provider in financial education, if not the leader, for financial professionals. This PMT course is part of a designation prgoram that allows people to become portfolio manager …)

“… Real Estate can offer favourable risk-return characteristics and low correlations with traditional investments … investment costs can be high … tax liabilities can be significant and need to be considered, i.e. municipal taxes, water taxes school taxes etc … positively correlated with inflation and tends to protect client from erosion of inflation … Price appreciation tend to match inflation and main source of return usually comes in rental income … meant for long holding period and even though it can stabilize overal portfolio returns, it can be highly volatile because RE markets are subject to boom-bust cycles … holdings not interchangeable, expensive per unit and requirement special care and management … Investors will not and should not physically hold RE beyond principal residence, or perhaps a secondary residence … Overall, RE can be considered as a bond substitute with inflation protection feature …”

Lesson here for RE worshippers and some Dumbfcuk RE agents: Wisdom in the financial advisory industry have it very clearly that RE is not meant to be a capital investment, but fixed income investment at BEST, not to mention in some brutal time liket his … Hence there is no ground for you fools to deny our wisdom base on your mere imagination. Wake up and get real and stop denying facts.

#39 winnipeg on 04.25.11 at 12:08 am

I would agree on Vancouver but the guy with the instrument shouldn’t be playing that tune. For a few thousand down and a decent regular pay cheque in the peg you could own your own place for 900 hundred a month. But you would have to cut the grass(mow the lawn 3 months a year). But hey if you can work a guitar or a tuba…..u could probably handle a lawn mower.

#40 Debtfree on 04.25.11 at 12:10 am

@17 u …..Blackwater gets paid in dollars . Them other chaps got paid in pounds. Same game different century . Splitting hairs doesn’t change history .

#41 winnipeg on 04.25.11 at 12:12 am

Oh sorry the musician is taking requests …..

How about some BTO and welcome the “Jets” back.


#42 Jay Currie on 04.25.11 at 12:15 am

I love my house. Which I rent. And I love renting.

Couple of weeks ago the drains backed up. Wretched cedar tree on the next lot. Took two Drainpros, a plumber and the municipality to make it right. I relaxed and let my landlord take care of it.

For the moment, well distributed, cash is king. My standard MLS search has gone from 300 properties to 455 in two months. Supply has met demand and is surging past.

And, at the upper end of the market, we have houses sitting a year later.

Renters are going to look like the smartest people in the room for the next couple of years. At my age, 54, I’d rather have a mixed bag of stuff which pays me than own a house which sucks cash.

Victoria is on the beginning of the downslope. The only question is whether it is a bunny run or a black diamond. Knowing how many of my neighbours are pimping out their houses for sale I am going for the black diamond.

40% over two years.

#43 Jane on 04.25.11 at 12:15 am

Went to Seattle WA last week for work (emergency services police/ambulance/fire related). Chatted with some folks from Renton, twenty minutes south of Seattle. They figure the housing crisis in the US is still ongoing, and they are at the height of it right now in this small city. There are so many foreclosed homes and thus families that have moved, that calls for emergency services are down significantly. Cost for an ambulance is about $800 per call. The cost has been dropped as an incentive to keep locals from moving! Without the city population and thus higher call volume, the ambulance service will be forced to close, leaving the city without any ambulances.

Interesting article in Canadian Business magazine. A little more balanced, with mention of a bubble once or twice. Kept expecting to see you referenced, Garth, as some of your reasons for change in RE were discussed.

My song vote: “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”

#44 bubble town on 04.25.11 at 12:29 am

Over priced??? I dont think so (with sarcastic voice)….

#45 nonplused on 04.25.11 at 12:31 am

Yet another nice post tonight Garth. I really appreciate that you are staying away from the non-news nonsense election too. On the market side of things, one monthly report does not a trend make. I want to see what the market looks like once the June numbers are in.

Also liked the wit on #1. People who want to tell the world how to live are the root of all evil. So some idiot wants to say “first”. Skip it if you don’t like it, it happens on every single blog with a comment section. People are people, a bunch of apes with typewriters trying to produce the works of Shakespeare through masses of random typing. Except on, which is about the most unmoderated blog around, although getting an account requires proving you can do rudimentary math and wait a few days. Over there the contests is to see who can be the first to say “Silver bitcheeezzz…..” first and it’s equally dumb but who cares??

Your posting rules are good enough. No rude behaviour or name calling. Use links instead of cluttering the screen. Try to stay somewhat on topic. Although the last one is a bit difficult because you yourself have covered so many topics that pretty much anything bearing on the economy might be considered fair game at this point.

For the theme song, I suggest something along the lines of “I Hate Banks” by Mojo Nixen and Skid Roper, except that of course I know you don’t hate banks that pay dividends. If you can’t beat them, join them I guess. You can see a live version here:

#14 SP

Silver Bitcheezzz…. Of course you could go the dividend route too, but why when buying silver and gold is so much easier. I know, I know, it’s a bubble, but it’s the easiest “greater fool” game to play around right now. The “bubble” will end one day, but not until the real interest rate is positive. As long as the real interest rate is negative, gold will yield at least 0% real after taxes. Right now the gold market is behaving as if real yields are about 10% negative, but it will probably correct soon.

#21 Drew

Garth is right, you’ll never get a modular put down unless it’s zoned for it. Plus you can’t mortgage a modular that can still be moved so good luck if you need financing. Heck, in BC they make you chain it to a pile to prevent theft! Not like someone who can steal a modular home couldn’t cut a chain but the government is always vigilant. Heck, I can cut a chain, any chain, in no time with my bull snips. If it’s too large for that I have a grinder and a vice. I don’t have a house jack and a trailer with air shocks though. But if I did I would also have the other tools. I don’t know if a modular home has ever been stolen, but I think a few have them have been sold and moved off site during foreclosures so the banks and the government are on the job!

Fact is modular homes are way cheaper to build (hence Mattamy) so the government and the banks don’t like them. Yes they are a pain to move but you have to move all the materials anyway, and they can move the whole shebang in a day or 2 depending on distances. This way you don’t also have to move the labourers. This is why they have been so popular in rural settings. $180,000 for a nice double wide, $20,000 to move it, and you are done. You don’t even need a basement because everything is built in to a closet. But you can put it on a basement if you like. That’s another $40,000 for the basement though.

#22 lookinin

Meds are working good then?

#23 Ex-Cowtown

The energy industry is now the largest industry of all in Canada, coming in at over 100 billion dollars. This dwarfs number 2, the auto sector, at 65. But yes if you add up all the other industries energy is still a component. But right now, it’s all we have that is working. Well, extraction generally.

#46 Annie the lemming watcher on 04.25.11 at 12:43 am

Garth, much of what you say has great merit and I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long time.

Having said that, I think you have a disconnect with regard REIT’s and the long term outlook for our economy. This is not the usual downturn and historically we’ve never faced what’s about/is coming down the pipe. You made it the focus of your ‘After the Crash’ book namely a deflationary depression. As Nicole Foss suggests and I believe she’s absolutely right, oil is the key driver on the way up but finance is on the way down. That means that REIT’S will be hit hard when the rest of the American and Canadian economy hits the end of it’s extend and pretend phase. When that happens is anyone’s guess but when the malls and hotels empty in their entirity

The only depression is listening to Nicole. — Garth

#47 Annie the lemming watcher on 04.25.11 at 12:58 am

Oops got cut off….pressed the submit button instead of spell check!
Here’s where I left off. Once the extend and pretend phase is over, and hotels empty and malls shut down how could REIT’s not be affected?

I think many people have a disconnect with the next step which is that a lot of this stuff is never coming back in the way that we currently know it. Life will go on but at each level will we straighten out at a lower level of complexity. Many participants will simply be priced out of the market completely. Investing will only be left as an option for a tiny minority and good luck keeping the markets, REIT’s or anything else going as it does currently.

I live here on Salt spring island and people have this idea we can all live life on alternative energy…a utopia of electric cars, not taking in to account all the fossil fuels that go in to each car, infrastructure etc. It really comes down to the fact that most people cannot process the next step which comes with increasing upheaval, lack of stability and many other negatives. It’s obviously a protective instinct of the human mind.

We might be lucky enough to arrive back in the 1890’s but whatever happens we will not be using anything remotely like the amount of energy we use now.
Globalization will go sharply in to reverse (already happening) We are just like Rome having sucked out all the wealth from the periphery, we are now having trouble maintaining the level of our complexity. What is REITS and other investing if not complex?

Want an idea of the future? Look at the past.

#48 Winterpeg on 04.25.11 at 1:03 am

Lucky (or smart) Jimmy gets to fiddle or strum; play while Rome burns.

Hey Jimmy you can’t even get much house for $200,000 in Winnipeg unless you’re in gangland. So party on in your rental.

You are fortunate to have a rental. Winnipeg has a low vacancy rate fueled by rent controls, which decreased the construction of apartments. Also, it is fueled by a lot of apartments converted to condos (tenants kicked out for conversions) Also, a successful immigration strategy is increasing the number of folks looking for housing. Also, the high number of struggling musicians. (just kidding, Jimmy)

Anyway, there’s a paradigm shift happening re: renting vs ownership. The sacred cow of “ownership” may be going the route of the dinosaurs, at least for now.

This blog is helping me to rethink it.

#49 Jas on 04.25.11 at 1:04 am

I make 25k a year too and I can save 4k easily. I have no debts and am working part-time. And guess what, I live on my own and I am happy as hell!

#50 Kelli on 04.25.11 at 1:04 am

This article gave me lady wood.

#51 KJ on 04.25.11 at 1:05 am

Thank you, The Phantom. I would add that most of us are unaware that we are being constantly manipulated to buy things we don’t need. This is painful to realize and accept but this is true.

Let’s remember folks, an idea “to buy something” is often not our idea at all. This is a basic principle of advertisement.

#52 J.T. on 04.25.11 at 1:08 am

RE: Doom and gloom

1994 called, they want their news back.

#53 TaxHaven on 04.25.11 at 1:11 am

You’re in denial on the “Chinese-buying-supporting-the-market” idea…

They undeniably ARE, although only in certain cities and neighbourhoods and only at the high end of the market. It’s NOT the “yellow peril”, a wave of overseas money, a speculative surge or “foreign money denying housing to Canadians” or locals being priced out of “their own” city or…or…

This was a remarkably balanced discussion:

I was not surprised to read that Chinese high-end buyers actually ‘flip’ properties less than other buyers, and that the majority are intent on MOVING to Vancouver…

#54 JC on 04.25.11 at 1:13 am

I say for theme songs either the theme to Hawaii Five-O or Wagners “Ride of the Valkyries”

#55 TheBigLebowski on 04.25.11 at 1:18 am

Status. The dirty little word most homeowners will never breath in public. Yet , like a guilty pleasure , many will only admit to it as they wriggle around on their granite counter tops during a long weekend. House porn, nobody said it was logical, or pretty. But like a yuppy with his arm out the window while driving around in his bmw. Thinking because he has a golf bag in the back seat that he is part of the elite. The same delusion applies to the majority of our society who looks at home ownership as a pin in their lapel . Logic plays no role in most people’s financial decisions .
A renter would have little luck convincing a homeowner that they possess any insight of value that would help the homeowner financially . Its like they love being lied to and are so committed to the mistruths that any thought otherwise would be a betrayal of their entire existence to this point. The average lower mainland yuppy who thinks a shack selling for a cool million is a great investment, well, these people are already gone intellectually . For people to survive the financial roller coaster that lays ahead of us, they will have to be willing to think outside the box. Breaking away from the herd may be tough, but when the herd is heading over a cliff, it certainly is the better alternative. I now ask people to take the average mainstream media financial advice, turn 180 degrees, and run like hell.

#56 smartalox on 04.25.11 at 1:47 am

I was interested in that globe article about the foreign investment quota for Asian immigrants. The requisite figure quoted in the article sounds a lot like what those rich Asians are shelling out in Vancouver. Do sfh purchases qualify as investments under these rules? Or is it a simple matter to form a shell company, to invest in the house on the.buyer’s behalf? If the holdings of such a holding company decline, can the company claim its loss on Canadian taxes?

I honestly don’t know, but if this were the case, it might explain the fervour with which Asian investors have targeted Canadian real estate, something that has puzzled me for a long time.

#57 Captom on 04.25.11 at 1:47 am

Garth – Larry Yaktowski’s Vancouver RE blog seems to support your Vancouver/Richmond information. Detached sales on the west side appear to have plopped by 50% through April 8th:

#58 Luke Imcamp on 04.25.11 at 1:56 am

Pen Pal and Debt Free. A few things – You both have some pretty self-deluted versions of history and understanding of how trade with China works. Also, you may want to reconsider going back to school a few years and educating yourselves with respect to the following:

The Eurozone is not a country or any one or single entity. Each country still holds its own passports and has its own government and rules and regulations and tax basis and business models and laws for conducting business, etc, etc. The Eurozone does NOT have similar trading agreements within the EU, all consistently covering each one of its 17 countries. Each country has agreed to a terms between themselves with respect to trade and currency. Additionally, each country has elected to agree each country has the right to set its terms (continent it is not outside EU policy) with trade outside of the EU, including China. Each country, then in effect, trades on its own terms, using the Euro. This creates a vastly more complicated environment in which China can trade as every country’s terms are different within the Eurozone. The U.S. has its own terms, making this process significantly more simple. Also, the U.S. is roughly 1/3 smaller than the Eurozone, but they have a larger per-captia trade ratio than the Eurozone. Again, China would not want to hurt this relationship. So, I guess it is true, the U.S. is China’s largest trading partner by quite a bit. Well really by a shit tonne. Ergo, The American is correct on this issue. I researched this, and I am posting a simple link that provides a very easy-to-read break down for your viewing. You’ll notice that nowhere on the list does it state “Eurozone” as a trading partner with China. This is because each country trades on its own with China.

You will clearly notice the U.S. is the largest (providing you can read), along with a noticeably significant lead against place holder number 2, Japan. But, please notice “Germany” listed as number 6 on the list with roughly only 1/3 of that of the U.S. Please also remember that Germany is a member of the Eurozone and is Europe’s largest economy by a tonne, yet it is its OWN trading partner with China within this list. Again, this is because it is not recognized by China as the “Eurozone” as being a trading partner. Terms from country to country within the Eurozone vary and cannot be counted as any single partner. If your theory were correct, and it is not, it would have listed “Eurozone” in the number one spot. But, because your theory is wrong, the U.S. takes the number 1 spot. Ergo, The American is right. Because you wanted so badly to be a “right fighter,” you have completely lost the point of his post. Which is probably okay because his point will be lost on people who cannot comprehend it, such as yourselves.'s_Republic_of_China

Also, last thing – Canada did not set the White House on fire nor did Canada participate in that. Sure we like to claim it, but we didn’t do that. This was a spat between the The Brits and the Americans. It was The Brits who sat the White House and their Capital on fire. The reason the Brits did it was because the Yanks looted York and we didn’t like it. Instead of fighting our own battle, we employed the full backing of the British in exchange for giving them whatever shit they wanted. Not surprising really when you review how we operate even today. But, that is beside the point. Here is a link that tells you a lot, references included. I’m hoping you can read.

#59 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 04.25.11 at 1:59 am

28 Phantom – if you are receving a $6K refund you need your accountant to do better tax planning so as not to overpay in the first place. I owed a little this year, as I
usually do.

#60 betamax on 04.25.11 at 2:01 am

I just got back from having dinner with several people, including a Vancouver realtor (one of the big firms, top percentile sales, blah blah). He maintains that the Richmond Chinese buying frenzy was a classic pump-and-dump operation.

According to him, many Chinese buyers came in a while ago and quietly bought up multiple properties. Then they’d sell one to ‘a friend’ for an inflated price to drive up the comps, then market them all back in mainland China to chumps who’d pay the new market price. (Apparently the scam is a tried and true one in China.)

Apparently enough flippers were doing it enough times that it helped ignite the entire Richmond market. Caught up in the frenzy, local fools jumped in of their own accord and helped pushed prices even higher.
Now the market has topped, flippers have moved on and sales volume is dropping in Richmond.

You may argue with his theory or dismiss it as conspiracy bunk, but he is a smart, successful, connected guy. He said a lot more in person and it was very persuasive.

In fact, he was pissed that a client turned down a $1m+ offer made earlier today. The client thought the house would be worth more later, but the realtor told him “that’s the most anyone’s ever going to offer for your house — ever! It’ll be worth less by summer.”

I asked him how much he thought prices would fall and he said: “I have no idea. I just know that they’re going down.”

I initially met this fellow years ago and he has always been bullish the entire time. It was almost shocking to see him so bearish. Shocking but refreshing.

#61 BROMANCE on 04.25.11 at 2:27 am

John Murray,

One of the problems here in the US is that neighborhoods are rapidly deteriorating. With the middle class gutted you are getting people who don’t care, landlords cutting corners due to skyrocketing costs and transient workers who pile in 20 to a house. I have to keep telling my neighbors not to hang their wash on the fence-for one thing it warps the damn fence. A week later the yard is trashed and the laundry’s back. I am thinking of selling for what I can get and get out of the rental business. Plus the empties around my properties are skyrocketing, and the only reason I am surviving is I keep the yard looking like Darby O’Gill took a crap on it (the miracle of lime), and nice flowers in the beds. It really makes a difference, but I am surrounded by millionaire slumlords. A real scumbag slumlord had a house he couldn’t rent to anyone. I told him I’d rent it in a week. It took me 10 days to rent it to a really good tenant who has just resigned for next year. Flowers, a paint job, some mowing and weeding ect. What did he do? He didn’t pay me, and didn’t fix up any of his other shit holes. He’s richer than God, and his father was on the Birdseye research team that developed frozen food. The rich are going to suffer a severe backlash if they don’t stop acting like total pricks.

#62 Bill Grable on 04.25.11 at 2:29 am

In Vancouver – the theme song is “One Toke Over the Line”.

What a mess > the Open House today in th building was so quiet, you could just about hear Gilles Duceppe screaming – “Layton”!!!!!!

#63 Gord In Vancouver on 04.25.11 at 2:29 am

Thanks again, Garth.

#64 realityguy on 04.25.11 at 2:31 am

I feeling the song should start with AC/DC’s

Hells Bells.

When the moment arrives the bell will start ringing as doom cast its shadow on its defenseless victims

#65 Cato on 04.25.11 at 2:31 am

Arrogance, fear & greed – finally get to see the end to this pathetic chapter in history. Give it a few months and masses will start realizing how screwed the country really is. First comes inflation, followed by creeping interest rates and finally the financial strangulation of the middle class.

Cold comfort, as bad things will be don’t have to look very far to find others who have it much worse. Shocking just how quickly a country like Ireland can degenerate when the taps run dry.

On that note, my vote for theme –

#66 BPOE on 04.25.11 at 2:44 am

Richmond is red hot folks and that’s a FACT. Here’s the real story. After the tragedy in Japan some people got worried about buying in Richmond because it is located on a flood plain approximately 6 feet below sea level. Folks this is a temporary blip as demand is incredibly strong. You want the Facts you need to get down to street level, not down south for comments on Canada. Talk to people and you will find the demand is huge. Same story over and over, owner lists a house multiple bids then sold. It’s not over folks It’s Just Getting Started. Just remember there are people who sold Apple stock when it was 10 bucks cause they thought it was over. Renters are the ones truly screwed folks. Expensive to rent, no equity and shame for the family

#67 honest weights on 04.25.11 at 3:20 am

I think the current series parallels the present/future Vancouver/Canadian real estate market:

Canucks win President’s Trophy – top team in the league – ‘We’re awesome’ (everyone wants to live here)

Game 1 – win – yeah, that’s right, told you we’re awesome (best place on earth and RE prices prove it)
Game 2 – win – uh huh, nothing can stop us (house prices keep moving higher – I’m getting a loan to buy that new car)
game 3 – win – we’re going to easily sweep this series ( my house is making me rich – I’m going to retire)
game 4 – 7-2 loss – just a bad game, we’ll win the next one and move on to the next series (RE prices begin to decline but don’t worry because every rich Chinese is dying to live here – they’ll keep prices moving higher)
Game 5 – 5-0 loss – what the *%$%** is going on here – they will definitely win the next game (umm maybe I should cut down on my spending but the Chinese will keep the party going for sure)
Game 6 – 4-3 loss – I knew it was too good to be true (oh sh**, I’m f*****, where are those bloody rich ch****, maybe the increase in RE prices were really fueled by cheap credit like every other inflated RE market after all)
Game 7 ?????

#68 Aussie Roy on 04.25.11 at 3:21 am

Aussie Update

Apartment market hits a go-slow

Land boom now more of a deflating bubble – WA Australias largest minning state.

You can time a bubble popping but you can learn what happened in other countries.

Developers bankrupt – Excellent point made regarding the increase in employment in the property sector bubbled markets before they popped.

ASIC gives banks green light to relax loan rules

Looks like its back to lending to anyone with a pulse.

“Since responsible lending guidelines were introduced in January, banks and non-bank lenders have been rejecting credit applications from middle-aged people ”

#69 An argument for sustainably high(er) housing prices on 04.25.11 at 3:40 am

Inflation is now becoming a mainstream concern, surprisingly, much to the surprise of many economists. With a tsunami of devaluing fiat currency, about to slosh its way through the system, first hitting the capital goods sector, then consumer but eventually manifesting itself in higher wages as it is already in some human capital sectors (ie software engineers;, is there not a possibility of housing prices remaining high? With cash becoming increasingly worthless at “surprising” rates, I could see how people would shun increasing bond yields that are being out paced by inflation for wealth preservation in something real rather than a promise on paper to pay at a later date. After all, that million dollar shoe box might not look so unaffordable to a lower mainland techie who just received an extra $10,000 to help service the mortgage.

#70 Brian1 on 04.25.11 at 3:40 am

It’s Over. That’s how I feel about my contributions. So much negativity, but the comments today are good. Just the comments section has so much dangerous incompetent people saying nothing. But where else can I express opinion and experience growth.
Anyway, I would like to talk about the wealthy Chinese in B.C. They exist, but they didn’t come here to invest. They came to escape. Escape the coming regime in China. They are not going to make it to democracy. It was a nice try.
How did these Chinese manage to do it? Mafia. You think the Russian, Italian, Japanese and Colombians are ruthless? Wait till you meet a Triad.
The Chinese know very well they have been ripped off and they do not forget. The realtors who are living high today will not be doing so tomorrow. When these Chinese are finally established they will come looking for their money and they know where to look.
You see, I grew up with Chinese. I know them. You don’t mess with them. You treat them fair they treat you fair. I have learned much from them, things I will only teach my children.
Perhaps I will be accused of being a fearmonger. All I will say is, wait and you’ll see.

#71 SquareNinja on 04.25.11 at 4:03 am

#23 Ex-Cowtown: Your comment made me feel good. Thanks!

#72 Robert Dudek on 04.25.11 at 4:16 am

I think living within ones means is still highly-regarded. It’s just that a lot of people don’t have the self-discipline to do it.

#73 Tim on 04.25.11 at 4:28 am

‘And all that stuff about the Asian Invasion being responsible for a permanent escalation in real estate values is so much marketing hype manufactured by creative dinks like Cam Good.”

Who else would be stupid enough to pay those prices?

#74 Tim on 04.25.11 at 4:30 am

Harper screwed up relations with China, then he bent over and kissed ass, thanks to him they have “special” visitors status. We’re going to see truckloads of them coming here now. Even if a small percentage want to stay…do the math Garth

#75 Tim on 04.25.11 at 4:35 am

“Says my source, Deep Throb: “I would expect to see Richmond prices fall by 20% by summer. They had a super spike but the sales have now stopped. Vancouver West –”

great, that should put us back to where prices were- about 7 months ago?

#76 Golden Boy on 04.25.11 at 4:51 am

Kudos to the musician.

#77 T.O. Bubble Boy on 04.25.11 at 7:37 am

@ #30 Not Rich-mond

This time, not so much. Give that mortgage apps have been shallow since the new year, I was admittedly surprised by April mid-month resilience in Toronto, which I expected to follow a more Richmond-esque pattern as reported above.

But what do I know.

So Garth: when do you you expect the tide to turn in those cities?

Wait for the end-of-month numbers… April will be the 12th straight YOY drop in sales volumes for Toronto.

Yes – any house that isn’t a complete dump is selling fairly quickly, but $750k semi’s and $1M for an “average” detached home in Toronto proper is unsustainable.

Also – after Canadians loaded up their HELOCs and went nuts on renos (thanks to encouragement from F and Harper), everyone expects to get 100%+ of their reno dollars back. There is way too much “love it or list it” math going on out there — where every $50,000 reno adds $75,000 in value. Once listings are back to normal levels, the net value of those IKEA kitchens will drop back to the appropriate level. (which is zero, since an IKEA kitchen will need replacing in 10-15 years with another IKEA kitchen anyway!)

Some evidence… check out some “average” properties in the GTA.



#78 S.B. on 04.25.11 at 7:37 am

Could the “Deep Throb” source be the petulant DA?

Rampant McGarthyism is sweeping the industry: “Are you now or have you ever been a Realtor(r)?”

:lol: :lol:

#79 Why can $21,000 save money on 04.25.11 at 8:07 am

What was interesting is that just because you make tons more money than $21,000 does not mean you save more.
Over the course of my life I have long said its not what you make but what you spend.

Its a life style choice that we make!
5 years ago (and I track all expenditures) I spent about $4,000 a month on everything, mortgage, taxes, food, phone everything.
This year I am averaging $5,000 a month and that’s with a monthly plan of $6,000 a month. No mortgage so I save $1,000 per month. Yes I have increased some expenditures because I wanted to.

My point is you can live on any amount, just cut out the jazzy stuff. As a interesting sales pitch we buy things we do not need or want just for the sake of buying because everyone else has it. Forgot house Horny its mall Horny.

I just did the taxes for a lady who made $12,000 last year, she just gets by, and she pays $550 a month in rent. But she is happy. The only bad thing she had no savings and she was sick for a few weeks and that put her behind in her rent. I got a big kiss why she got her refund. And she actually saved half and caught up on her rent.

I think you can tell the type of spender you are by the amount of clothes you have. Women excluded, but guys if you own more then 10 pairs of shoes your a spender. As for women I would say if you own more than 30 pairs your in trouble.

Okay shoes is a bad example, here’s a good one if you cannot park your car in the garage because of all the stuff you own, just look down the street. My guess is over 60% cannot get one or both cars in the garage.

Cheers have a great week the sun is shinning.

#80 bigrider on 04.25.11 at 8:08 am

#32- Not 1st said. “I would like to know what rich established people are doing with there RE. I bet 9 out of ten will never sell”

Wrong. Many old time Jewish owners of commercial property along Avenue Rd. and Lawrence area have put there properties quietly for sale. One told me he has never seen such a poor return on invested capital.

Any analysis of RE market in T.O will reveal that ROI on RE whether it be residential or commercial is at historic lows.

So much for your RE is Lord mentality.

#81 detalumis on 04.25.11 at 8:15 am

Yep people making 21K are better off than most; heaven help us. At this income bracket he is a net tax drain i.e. using plenty more services than he pays for. His retirement will also be on senior-welfare i.e. GIS, OAS and subsidized housing. The poor shmucks working and commuting 60 hours a week that are so disparaged are the ones that enable the 21K’s to live so well.

#82 Nemesis on 04.25.11 at 8:21 am

“Cam[‘s] copter just ate turf”…. Hon. GT

In ‘tactical aviation’, GT – it’s called, ‘Crash&Burn’… ;)

#83 Heart of the World on 04.25.11 at 8:26 am

Possible 50% fall in Chinese real estate prices? Oopsie!

#84 Chris no longer in England on 04.25.11 at 8:30 am

“Bud, take the wheel. I feel a song coming on.”

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,1
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

(Malvina Reynolds)

#85 S.B. on 04.25.11 at 8:32 am

Speaking of the USA…do we really wish their medical upon ourselves? The number of personal bankruptcies due to medical costs in Canada? 0.00.
In USA I hear it’s the #1 cause.
Like I said, the medical inustry has not cured anything since decades ago. There’s no money in cures. Instead they will kill you even more slowly with radiation, toxic drugs, and removing most of your body, and then call it “treatment”. No expense spared…at slowly killing you.

“Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year. Will that number go up, now that most clinical trials are conducted overseas—on sick Russians, homeless Poles, and slum-dwelling Chinese—in places where regulation is virtually nonexistent, the F.D.A. doesn’t reach, and “mistakes” can end up in pauper’s graves? The authors investigate the globalization of the pharmaceutical industry, and the U.S. Government’s failure to rein in a lethal profit machine”

#86 Chris no longer in England on 04.25.11 at 8:45 am

66 BPOE: “Expensive to rent, no equity and shame for the family.”

Shame for the family? Spoken by someone who is truly brainwashed! So glad I’m a foreigner – my renting is considered an eccentricity rather than something to be ashamed of. BPOE, do you live your life by the dictates of others? By their expectations? Looks like you are truly caught in what David Icke would call ‘the Moon Matrix’…!!!

#87 The Phantom on 04.25.11 at 8:48 am

#59 Dark Sad Monster Bunny

Certainly you are correct in this view as proper planning would result in more after tax income in my pocket during the year as opposed to the spring of the next year. My circumstances are somewhat diferent inasmuch as I worked three jobs throughout most of last year, two jobs during the summer when I wasn’t away training and consequently, my goal is to insure that I pay enough tax between the three jobs so that I don’t get handed a large bill each spring. Thus a large refund is preferrable to a large demand note. There are other considerations that are at play here as well but I’ll refrain from discussing them in greater detail.

the Phantom

#88 S.B. on 04.25.11 at 8:49 am

Oh and a little hint for interpreting the reverse-speak coming from our leaders. Whenever they announce a War ON something, simply change it to War OF something.

See: War of Terror, untold WMD dropped onto the middle east, going on today. It’s being “softened up” for the oil and water pipelines. It’ll be a cakewalk. Mission Accomplished. They will throw flowers at our feet, their children will sing songs of praise. We know he has WMD?

War of Drugs: illegal drugs have never been more plentiful and accessable. Guys like Gen. Noriega were getting in the way, so the US Govt Drug Cartel took him out.

War of Cancer? Yep never been more toxic sludge allowed in our air, food, and water than today. Read the first 100 pages of the Secret History of the War on Cancer book. Most every industrial cause of cancer was known by 1940. And then willfully supressed for decades afterwards. You will have nightmares, you do like scary movies and stuff right?

FYI an article : killing us slowly…

The number of deaths and hospitalizations caused by prescription drugs has risen precipitously in the past decade, with overdoses of pain medications, in particular opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers, more than doubling between 1999 and 2006, according to a new study.

In fact, by 2006, overdoses of opioid analgesics alone (a class of pain relievers that includes morphine and methadone) were already causing more deaths than overdoses of cocaine and heroin combined.

#89 MikeT on 04.25.11 at 9:00 am

Garth, I think your blog needs a forum section more than it needs a theme song (no offense, Jimmy).
There is too much precious information in the comments and it’s a pity it cannot be structured somehow.
Creating threads on different topics would make it really useful for posters and for current and future readers, as they will not have to thread through many unrelated comments to find what they are interested in.

#90 House on 04.25.11 at 9:11 am

Oops looks like you should read the G&M today those pesky foreigners are back in Van again.

#91 Aussie Roy on 04.25.11 at 9:33 am

not 1st on 04.24.11 at 11:44 pm

Why does this site always get emails from people who don’t have a clue about financing. First it was some guy making $170k a year and couldnt afford his mortgage and now its some starving artist in Winterpeg telling us how its done.

I would like to see a rich boomer or established person who is wealthy write in and tell us what they are doing with their real estate holdings. I will bet 9 out of 10 will never sell it.

Long term RE investor but a career in trading. Sold 6 rental properties when their value shyrocketed so much they were only returning a rental income of 2.6% pa dispute good regular annual rent increases. Clearly this signalled to me that prices were being heavily influenced by those buying just to speculate on future gains and were willing to buy a property (gambling chip) at just about any cost.

Not against RE in anyway shape or form just because its real estate, only against holding any investment that doesnt pay its own way year in year out without relying on unrealistic delusional capital growth.

Still own property, I’m a primary producer my return on the lands capital value exceeds 9%pa. Dont think that real investors dont think about yield, after all its a great signal when one should buy or sell any investment.

Aussie housing was and is a clear sell, its it the top, who knows, when will the bubble burst, no idea. Most important to me, I’m long gone after holding some of these properties 30 plus years.

#92 Billy on 04.25.11 at 9:38 am

#66 BPOE

You sound like a pumper on Stockhouse message boards.

Like I have been saying for the last month as I go and visit my in laws in the heart of Richmond, there are a lot more for sale signs and most have been on the market for over 3 months now.

#93 Live Under Your Means on 04.25.11 at 9:51 am

#79 Why can $21,000 save money on 04.25.11 at 8:07 am

I think you can tell the type of spender you are by the amount of clothes you have. Women excluded, but guys if you own more then 10 pairs of shoes your a spender. As for women I would say if you own more than 30 pairs your in trouble.


Hubby owns way less than 10 pairs of shoes. I own a few more than he, but most are older ones. Haven’t bought a new pair in 2 years – most are just too ugly. Only article of clothing bought in the last 2 years is a great housecoat I found at Sally Ann for $7 when I dropped off household stuff. Just what I was looking for in the stores but couldn’t find. BTW, was surprised to see at SA’s men’s Polo T shirts, never worn, from $3-$7. One SIL buys, almost exclusively, at 2nd hand shops. She’s even picked up a few things for me and several Ralph Lauren Chaps shirts for hubby. It’s her Sat. morning hobby to make the rounds. I don’t have the patience. Basically hate shopping.


Okay shoes is a bad example, here’s a good one if you cannot park your car in the garage because of all the stuff you own, just look down the street. My guess is over 60% cannot get one or both cars in the garage.

Agree, but many hold gardening tools, patio sets, grandkids toys, tricyles, carriages, etc.


See lots of new For Sale signs over the last few weeks in my neighbourhood, especially by Exit Realty.

Had quite the surprise this am. Having my first cup of tea and out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving on the back lawn. Thought it was a red fox, but maybe I was seeing things. I went to the front window and waited and sure enough, it appeared and crossed my neighbours’ lawn. Not sure where it went from there as a large tree blocked my view. Immediate thought was hope nobody had let their cat out. Beautiful medium sized fox. We’ve had lots of wildlife over the years, but never a red fox in our subdivision.

#94 Live Under Your Means on 04.25.11 at 9:55 am

#84 Chris no longer in England on 04.25.11 at 8:30 am

How true it is. Even more so today.

#95 jounetsu on 04.25.11 at 9:57 am

I’m rather fond of “I’m bad and nationwide” seems to be appropos to so many things…

#96 BadMother on 04.25.11 at 9:57 am

Had brunch with my two best friends over the weekend. One has put out over one hundred resumes in the marketing/events sector and no bites. Can pay May’s rent for her downtown TO condo but then doesn’t know what will happen. On the flip-side, the other makes approx. $250K/yr as a doctor in Mississauga. Bought a big house with her hubby in Burlington and took on his (failed business) debts. They have a Land Rover and Mercedes. He brings in less than $70K if I had to guess but he’s the one piling on all these toys. They are now $1 Million dollars in debt!!! I actually wondered who was in the worse position and I think it’s the doctor. Luckily she’s thinking of ditching the high-priced cars as I mentioned we’re looking to get rid of our leased vehicle early (we have no debt and rent a very affordable place). It’s true that the more you make the more you spend. I’m sure there are thousands of stories like this out there.

#97 The American on 04.25.11 at 9:58 am

Can we vote for Fire Water Burn by Bloodhound Gang?

#98 King Bubbles on 04.25.11 at 10:04 am

Jimmy the Musician,

How about something inspired by Sympathy For The Devil?

You could have a cool video with a helicopter assult of some surburban neighborhood by an army of house horny realtors and foreign investors. Throw in a Cam Good clone wearing a calvary hat and rayban aviators and you are all set.

I love the smell of a commission in the morning :-)

#99 Future Expatriate on 04.25.11 at 10:06 am

Call it “State SecretS”. People will think they’re getting more for their money! ;)

#100 45north on 04.25.11 at 10:07 am

BPOE: Expensive to rent, no equity and shame for the family

expensive to rent: no it isn’t

shame for the family: no it isn’t

on the equity, well you do have a point but speaking to people that paid a low down payment and pay off very little principal: “you pay thousands a month but after five years by how much have you reduced the balance?”

once prices in Vancouver fall, BPOE will just disappear.

#101 Ex-Cowtown on 04.25.11 at 10:31 am

#75 Tim on 04.25.11 at 4:35 am
“Says my source, Deep Throb: “I would expect to see Richmond prices fall by 20% by summer. They had a super spike but the sales have now stopped. Vancouver West –”

great, that should put us back to where prices were- about 7 months ago?


You must have missed math class. Let’s assume that a house was $800K 7 months ago. It increased 20% since then. Thats 160K right? Price is $ 960K.

Price now drops by 20%. That’s $192K. Price is now $768K. Oops!

Same % drops on the way down are bigger than on the way up. And don’t forget to add in your fees, the bank and the RE agent wont forget about them. Actual loss of $32K + RE fees, bank fees etc. = $75K. So long down payment!


#102 The American on 04.25.11 at 10:38 am

AT #71: Brian1, great post. I had dinner with a couple of my Chinese friends over Italian food this past Saturday night. Michael and Evelyn, a married couple living here in Seattle, are quite in tune with the market in Richmond and Vancouver as they have family who lives there. Why? Their mother was living in Richmond before she called them a few months ago begging for them to please move her “the hell out of there.” So, they did. They drove there, completed several mounds of formal paperwork, and returned with his mother. Of course, several more mounds of paperwork were completed afterwards too.

So, Saturday night, Michael and Evelyn begin talking as to why it has become expensive in Richmond and Vancouver with this Chinese money. Michael stated without a question it is all crooked government money from mainland China that is being washed in the Canadian housing market, primarily BC. I asked why it would be done there as opposed to any other place and he said, “Because it would be far too difficult. We don’t allow people in just because they have money to invest. It is a lower standard and they will take the path of least resistance with the fewest questions asked.”

Evelyn and Michael flew to Shanghai a couple months ago (they go every two months or so), and are heading back there again this coming weekend. I cannot even begin to get into the unbelievable chances they encountered last time being on the plane to Shanghai and while on the plane visiting with a Chinese family living in Vancouver – a man, his wife, and their daughter. Then only a few weeks ago the ran into the SAME FAMILY they had met on the plane while flying to Shanghai. But, this time, the dad of the family was not in the picture. The Chinese wife and the daughter were in Vancouver shopping when they ran into Evelyn. They, of course, stopped and talked due to the unbelievable nature of circumstances. The woman explained to Evelyn that her husband had been arrested when they had returned to back to China on that very trip they had met Michael and Evelyn, along with several other “government officials” under his division. He’s serving 6-8 years. He apparently had no idea he was going to be arrested because he had been doing his job as the government had requested of him.

I asked why he was arrested. Michael and Evelyn explained “that’s just the way it is. Its gone on for decades. The Chinese government picks you to do their dirty work, and in turn makes you filthy rich while everyone else is dirt-poor, and you eventually make it to the top. The problem is the inflow of dirty money keeps growing and they do not want anyone too comfortable for too long who oversees this kind of activity. It is too dangerous for the government.” They said this kind of behavior is “the norm” within China. They also explained the government is sending these people who represent the “government interests” directly to Canada, primarily BC, for the purposes of investing this bad money, in cash, into real estate as it easily washes the funds. Then, some of these people are quietly called back to China to take care of some remaining government business. So, they go back, and then they are ultimately arrested. Michael explained the cycle is sometimes as low as 4 or 5 years and up to 20 years, depending on the person.

After explaining this to me, they then explained to me the entire Chinese economy is a ponzi scheme, riddled with dirty money. I’m not going to get into this here. But, they did explain the economy is clearly slowing more and more each time they return home to China to visit their family and check on their factories. He also explained that property values are declining in the city centers across China right now, and people really don’t know it yet. Michael said it is only a matter of time before the dirty money flow stops and he believes too it is going to kill the BC market. I have to agree.

Frankly, I believe them. They have no cause to lie to me, never have they lied to me, and they were speaking with such authority on the matter it was difficult not to believe them.

#103 Junius on 04.25.11 at 10:38 am


The song. A bit of Willie Nelson as sung by Dandy Don Meredith (RIP) on Monday Night Football, “Say goodnight the parties over, All good things must end.”

Put a fork in it.

#104 Not Wondering Anymore on 04.25.11 at 11:25 am

#66 BPOE

“Shame for the family” in renting? LOL!

What about living 10 to a house, being slaves to monstrous debt and losing thousands of dollars forever in interest to bank landlords over the course of a mortgage, while eating endless Kraft Dinner and restricting your access to all other aspects of life, before ultimately filing for bankruptcy?

THAT is subjecting a family to real shame.

Better get out while you can as it becomes WPOE (Worst Place on Earth), as I suspect you are already trying to do,behind all your bluster.

#105 ballingsford on 04.25.11 at 11:27 am

How about the House of the Rising Sun! Instead of Porn House, it could be about House Porn!

“Mothers don’t let yourrrr children, dooooo the things I’ve done…”

#106 Utopia on 04.25.11 at 11:37 am

#70 Brian1

“It’s over”
It’s not over till the fat lady sings Brian. Dont-cha know? But I get where you are coming from. Usually it doesn’t stick. Just try going 72 hours cold turkey without commenting even once on all the idiocy in the world.

It’s too much to contain. You’ll see.

#107 LB on 04.25.11 at 11:44 am

Re:the song. I would suggest the theme from Jaws,the Movie, would be most apropos:

Da da da da da da da da!

#108 Down Down on 04.25.11 at 11:45 am

What strikes me is those who write – renting and claiming living stress free. I don’t cut the lawn, paint the walls, fix a facuet, furance,hinges, blah blah blah…

What gives – I have spent approx the same amount of years renting and now owning – I like to wake up early Saturday morning – get the push reel mower and cut my grass – a nice 20 minute cardio workout – paint, well when I rented and looked at pale white egg shell walls – it sickened me – dull, boring -my place, we have a time splashing on some funky colours that feel cozy and relaxing – plumbing, shit – most smaller jobs anyone can do, leaking facuet, big dumping deal, change the washer – furance, every so often have the tech guy do a preventative inspection…

Owning is not for everyone, there’s obviously more of a commitment both financially and time wise – but it’s shelter, i rented for 7 years – what did I get out of it … Nothing but Lousy Landlords who would tell me to f-off if something wasn’t working or a neighbour was causing a problem..

Owning – well, my last calculation, “if” I sold, and taking away all the normal expenses – and “if” I hit a medium range current or even a 25% drop – I walk with at least $45K …. so keep pounding your chest that owning sucks – but your the brightest people on the planet, blah blah blah –

My Home – my Castle – its what works for me – and in 6 years … mortgage Free – I slayed the Mortgage dragon – life is sweet –

#109 Jan Etter on 04.25.11 at 12:05 pm

#59 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 04.25.11 at 1:59 am
“28 Phantom – if you are receving a $6K refund you need your accountant to do better tax planning so as not to overpay in the first place. I owed a little this year, as I
usually do.”

That assumes the refund is not due to a large amount of medical expense deductions from a 12mo period, or deductions claimed from LSVCC or flow-through resource investments made in the tax year, or other deductions/credits that cannot be anticipated in advance.

#110 Tim on 04.25.11 at 12:05 pm

Garth doesn’t acknowledge this, but I’ve been saying this for years…

“And it may increase, as more affluent Chinese aim to move, as well as invest their money abroad. There are nearly 600,000 high-net people worth at least $1.5-million in China this year, according to the consultancy Bain & Co. About 10 per cent of them have already left, another 10 per cent are planning to apply for immigration, and about 30 per cent are considering it, according to results based on Bain’s survey of 2,500 rich Chinese released last week. ”

Globe and Mail

#111 Live Under Your Means on 04.25.11 at 12:07 pm

#101 45north on 04.25.11 at 10:07 am
BPOE: Expensive to rent, no equity and shame for the family


I just think BPOE is a shit disturber. He doesn’t actually believe the spew he puts out. There are lots of his ilk on blogs. They just enjoy people responding to them. If nobody responds to them, many eventually disappear.

#112 The looker on 04.25.11 at 12:09 pm

# 103

It’s good you said it. I don’t know why much of the chinese money isn’t known to be crooked or washed out of government loans to companies for growth and investment?

If we investigate NA companies investing in China, you’ll be shocked if you looked into the books and accounts. We simply close our eyes and turn the other way. We see nothing.

As to the officials I had a cousin in there for a few years. When I was in China, I got taken around and he was a honcho in the town representing the government. He left and could not tolerate the nobody life in NA and when he returned was put in jail.

Yes, the chinese money is not a good thing for NA. Many will come to see but most will not see the truth behind it. MSM will smother it well.

#113 The American on 04.25.11 at 12:14 pm

AT #66: BPOE, renting isn’t shameful. Cramming a bunch of people into a house and living without hardly any furniture is shameful and embarrassing, much like the majority of your buyers are doing. Believe me, I KNOW exactly what they’re doing. The would be the most hideous feeling I could imagine.

#114 Dan in Victoria on 04.25.11 at 12:15 pm

Not 1st @32
I would like to see a weathly person write in and tell us what they are doing with their real estate holdings, I bet they are not selling.

Actually I know a couple of “weathly”types. They have been selling off their holdings for the past while.
They are only keeping the “golden nuggets” everything else is being sold.

#115 Devore on 04.25.11 at 12:17 pm

#39⁠ winnipeg

Lawn mowers and snow shovels aren’t free… Just another cost of home ownership that gets overlooked.

#116 S on 04.25.11 at 12:26 pm

Theme song?

Tom Waits’ “Starving In The Belly of The Whale” for sure

Close second “Misery’s The River of The World” by same artist

#117 Jules on 04.25.11 at 12:28 pm

To #66 BPOE

Seriously?? You want comments from someone “on the street” in Richmond. I live in a very desireable area of Richmond. Lots of Asians. True in January and February houses in my hood were being snapped up in minutes with multiple offers but that is NOT the case anymore. 4 houses were listed on my street all in early March not at all overpriced by Jan and Feb standards and NONE of them have sold. Open houses are empty. Price reduction signs eveywhere. So yes the Richmond market has died. There must be at least 20 for sale signs on the 4 block route I take to my kids school everyday. Same sold stickers. NOTHING is moving in Richmond!!!!

#118 Live Under Your Means on 04.25.11 at 12:39 pm

#106 ballingsford on 04.25.11 at 11:27 am
How about the House of the Rising Sun! Instead of Porn House, it could be about House Porn!

“Mothers don’t let yourrrr children, dooooo the things I’ve done…”

Just went and looked it up on Youtube. Loved that piece, especially as a mid-20’s who indulged with a toke or 2, hot knives. Tried hash oil once and that was the 1st and last time. Stopped indulging in all that 30 yrs ago. Hubby, when he can’t sleep, takes a puff or 2, and sleeps like a baby. But that’s the extent of it. Totally believe in it for med. problems.

#119 tran,Calgary on 04.25.11 at 12:55 pm

Pump & dump

#120 Mr. Reality on 04.25.11 at 1:00 pm

#103 The American

Spot on! I have heard the same story from others who worked for Chinese government. The same situtation occured in Vancouver when Hong Kong changed hands and people feared outright Chinese rule.

Many people do not understand the effects of dirty money on our society. If marijuna was legalized and prices tanked, BC would lose out in billions of consumer dollars. IF you think i’m wrong look up the estimate value of the domestic bc bud industry today. It is in the 5 – 10 billion dollar range……Organised crime spends unbelievable amounts of money on property, cars, clothes etc…..

The perfect storm……

Mr. R.

#121 Tim on 04.25.11 at 1:08 pm

RE#102 Calgarian

You must have missed math class. Let’s assume that a house was $800K 7 months ago. It increased 20% since then. Thats 160K right? Price is $ 960K.
You missed the point of my post. 7 months is arbitrary My point was that housing has gone up so much in such a short period of time that with even a 20% correction, prices will still be high, and unaffordable for most

#122 pen pal on 04.25.11 at 1:09 pm

# 81 detalumis

very astute observation

#123 Junius on 04.25.11 at 1:14 pm

#103 The American,

I believe you are 100% correct. There is currently an outflow of money coming into Vancouver from China as you have described. The situation in China right now is very unsettled and there have been a number of strange arrests and other incidents like the one you described. I have heard similar stories from other people.

The upshot is that the money moving out is looking very quickly for a safe haven and Canada is now it. Our lax laws and stupidity have created this situation. Vancouver is destination #1 and this money is buying everything they can as people desperately try and get their money out.

First of all, we should all be disgusted with our gov’t for looking the other way on this. I would bet that sometime after the election changes are made to the loopholes. The Chinese gov’t has already been pressuring Canada to do something but the “feel good effect” of this is too good for the Cons to not exploit at this time. Eventually the Chinese gov’t may find a way to simply close it on their end.

Secondly, this tells you that when it falls it is really going to collapse. This will not last much longer. When the loopholes are closed and the buyers dry up it will end that moment. Coming soon.

#124 Live Under Your Means on 04.25.11 at 1:25 pm

Have an old high school g’friend who moved to BC 35+ years ago and married a guy that I grew up with as an adolescent – a real twit. They split 30 years ago, she moved from Naramata to Sooke, BC to get away from him and works for the govt. Her ex overdosed many years ago. Unfortunately, their son was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and she alone had to cope with him over the years. What a horrible disease. She & a bro & SIL – (who lived in Northern BC) considered building a 2 story duplex on her property. That fell through – maybe too expensive. With 4 hrs time diff., and as I go to bed so early, it never works out.

#125 pen pal on 04.25.11 at 1:32 pm

# 58 Luke Imkamp

Let me get this straight.

A guy who can’t spell correctly (self diluted?), can’t compose prose and uses Wikipedia for research suggests that I go back to school for a couple of years?

Are you aware of how Wikipedia amasses its data? Didn’t think so. Do some real research and , oh by the way, when is the last time you PERSONALLY were in the EU or did any business there or are you talking out of your ass.

Don’t bother responding dipshit, I will be scrolling past your future posts.

#126 Luke Siragusa on 04.25.11 at 1:44 pm

Jimmy the musician: “How is it that an apartment-dwelling professional musician clearing $21,000 a year is in a better financial situation than 40% of the country?”

Simple. You’re living within your means; they’re not.

#127 Abitibidoug on 04.25.11 at 1:47 pm

In response to post #81 by detalumis: If that’s the case, why aren’t more people giving up high paying jobs to work for $21,000 if it’s so great? Also, those people working 60 hours a week will likely be more stressed and have more stress related illnesses which lead to a greater cost burden to the public purse. It’s like the laws of thermodynamics, where you don’t get something for nothing.

Of course if someone can make such a small salary (21 grand) and still save some money, more power to them regardless if they are subsidized or not! I’d say he’s pretty smart to have figured out how to live that way, a lot smarter than the stressed out person, working 60 hours a week, who pays a lot more taxes (because they make far more money) but has little savings to show for all the effort.

#128 Lead Paint on 04.25.11 at 2:27 pm

#109 Down Down –

This is basically a support group for people who don’t own real estate or are taking a short position on it. Most information sources take a strong pro-ownership position, so this is where we come to validate our ‘against the herd’ stance.

I have great memories of growing up in a home my parents owned, and the work that went in it (although I admit i did not do much of the work). However, I’m glad my parents did not put home ownership ahead of our education, vacations, their retirement, etc.

#129 Thetruth on 04.25.11 at 2:55 pm

Garth, here’s the next thing that will likely prop up the housing market…

The next Gov that is elected will change how IRD penalties are calculated by the Big 5 banks. They will abolish the mumble jumble of using posted rates and discounted rates in ways banks see fit when calculating the IRD to their advantage.

This will make the 5 year posted rates meaningless and the posted qualifying 5 year rate for the bank of canada will be lowered because a ‘discounted’ rate will now be displayed here.

The sheep will be happy because their gov took on the big banks…lol

So a rise in 5 year bond yields by about 1% is not going to do anything to initial mortgage qualifications as compared to today!

The correction is a little further away than you think. My bet is Fall 2012.

It is what it is.

Oh, by the way, sales will fall because most people are in 5 year fixed rate mortgages now so their IRD is huge. A hindrance to selling. A few years back, majority were in variable mortages so that huge obstacle was not there if one wanted to sell.

#130 Debtfree on 04.25.11 at 3:00 pm

theme song …. it’s a little soon for this one but after the crash it would be perfect for all the re agents .

#131 Pat on 04.25.11 at 3:05 pm

“How is it that an apartment-dwelling professional musician clearing $21,000 a year is in a better financial situation than 40% of the country?”

Because you are single.

40% of the country make $70K/year and have 2.x young children to care for.

Sure there are other reasons, but let’s not get too carried away with this “look how smart we are” attitude.

#132 (low density) Sam on 04.25.11 at 3:22 pm

#80 bigrider on 04.25.11 at 8:08 am
Any analysis of RE market in T.O will reveal that ROI on RE whether it be residential or commercial is at historic lows.
links, please – Trade publications? Anything like a report from an auditor or investment house?

#133 confused and a little crazed on 04.25.11 at 3:36 pm

109 # down/ down

i think you are misunderstanding most the real estate bears here.

Admittedly there are extremists in gold/ realesate/ doomsday

but generally speaking most people like real estate just not at this prices

sure I’d buy if it was 25- 35 % discount.( 2006 pricing) …maybe 2-3 years. This way I get to choose my property as opposed to buying something rushed. My investments pay bout 90 % of rent so I making equity. I can put an even larger down payment.

so to put it in perspective most just want decent pricing…not insanity whether its realesate or gold/ oil

but if it doesn’t happen . no big deal . learn more/ invest more/ aand get over a cool million before I retire w/ company pension/ RRSP/ TFSA and Stock portfolio giving me dividends …plus CPP

some say stocks will crash…i know they will so do a lot of people and I hoping they do so I can buy more companies with even better returns

The key here is ” Stop loss” option

#134 Chuck D on 04.25.11 at 3:37 pm

With prices so high and houses selling so quickly I can’t figure out why there are so few good listings in the Toronto area. You’d think there would be a glut of sellers but there isn’t. I remember reading warnings on here 6 months ago to list now before the tidal wave of sellers competing for fewer buyers arrived in the spring. That obviously never happened. I’m finding neighbourhoods that I am interested that have very few if any houses for sale. The houses that stick around on the market tend to have some fatal flaw like a GO train running beside them. Any theories why people aren’t selling in a seller’s market? What is going to be the thing(s) that turns this market into a buyers market? So far nothing seems to be changing people’s attitudes and people seem to be living with the extremely high prices. I guess you get psychologically adjusted after awhile. For me though it’s tough to accept the type of house I can get for half a million dollars is kind of a sh*t one. This hasn’t become New York overnight.

#135 Timing is Everything on 04.25.11 at 3:46 pm

#103 The American – said “…they then explained to me the entire Chinese economy is a ponzi scheme, riddled with dirty money.”

Kinda like the American economy, eh.

#136 Don't stand so close to me on 04.25.11 at 3:50 pm

Quick, get the police. As a young musician I liked to hang around the local music shop, checking out the neat gear and talking music. I always think back to those days when I think things are getting difficult. But the reality was it was the other musicians coming in to make the payments on their rentals or purchase plans. Not only were they starving musicians, but their wives & children were too.
Things have been better in the past than now but I still have the rental properties I started with, and lots of hot bodies muling away to bring me $ regularly. Buy it or rent it I don’t see a problem, there will always be people like me who will provide a ‘service’ for a fee and make out on the margin.

#137 Down Down on 04.25.11 at 3:57 pm

So much hate and anger on this blog – if a guy says your nuts to rent – big deal – that’s one person’s opinion. People often react in a defensive or negative way when there is some truth to that fact and anger displaces fear of acknowledgment –

Just a gut feeling (unleash the hounds after I finish) – but I get the impression most are peev’d caused they missed out on the biggest housing boom on record – maybe in our lifetime but I sense this could turn out to be a repeat in a few years. Most are thrilled to see friends, neighbours, family take a massive financial hit that will surely destroy families, communities and our society at large – [those who cheer on the destruction of others will hopefully get the taste of Karma in due time]….

So, lets not all worry about the “other” guy – a budget that is thorougly studied should be the best course of action – and like my grampa use to say “you can’t take it with you so enjoy what you have now” — just my humble opinion!

#138 Abitibidoug on 04.25.11 at 4:05 pm

In response to #132 by Pat: Singles aren’t necessarily better off than married couples. The married person has 2 incomes, and more economies of scale than the single. For example a larger home (to rent or buy) is more expensive than a smaller one but less cost per square foot. Also 2 or more people living together don’t need 2 stoves, 2 refrigerators, 2 washers and driers, 2 water heaters, and so on. Also, the married couple are more likely to have a house, and (at least until now) have had the totally tax free capital gain. In summary a married couple, contrary to a persistent urban myth to the contrary, are financially better off than the single person.

#139 Junius on 04.25.11 at 4:10 pm

#130 thetruth,

You said, “The correction is a little further away than you think. My bet is Fall 2012.”

Isn’t it clear that the correction is well underway in most parts of the country?

Change “correction” to “crash” and perhaps you are closer to thetruth.

#140 Junius on 04.25.11 at 4:16 pm

#129 Lead Paint,

You said, “This is basically a support group for people who don’t own real estate or are taking a short position on it.”

Wrong. You are missing the point. If it was about normal real estate cycles it would not be interesting. It is not “pro” or “anti” real estate.

It is about how current real estate prices are artificially stimulated by reckless and conniving gov’t and banking policies that are leading us to a train wreck of an economy. It is about how we are being manipulated on a mass scale into thinking “it is different here” and into taking incredible risks which will leave many of us ruined and bank slaves.

Read deeper.

#141 SmarterThanYouLook on 04.25.11 at 4:19 pm

I’m not sure why individuals like The American attempt to hide their racism and envy behind anecdotal stories about the reasons behind Chinese real estate purchases in high priced areas of Canada.

Is that the best that real estate bears can do these days?

#142 tkid on 04.25.11 at 4:21 pm

Pat, he only makes $20,000 a year. That’s poverty level, and speaking as someone who was in the same situation 20 years ago with expenses that were a lot less than what they are now, he is to be applauded for being able to put a small amount of money aside for retirement.

How is it someone living on a subsistance paycheque have a better financial outlook than someone making 3 times more the salary?

I’m tired of people criticizing others who are doing well and are proud of themselves for it, particularly when the criticized is not making a hell of a lot a month.

#143 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 04.25.11 at 4:30 pm

88 Phantom – thanks for clarifying

110 Jan – absolutely correct for those unanticapted medical expenses. Hopefully we dont get them in the
first place! Not sure about the other vehicles – is there no
way to estimate what the tax adavantage might be beforehand? My advantage is an incorporated company. I
meet with my accountant about mid-year to figure out
my ‘wage’ and hence the RRSP contribution or other investments/contributions I must make to lower my tax
to X amount for the year and pay installments

103 American – that is the kind of insight that we need on this blog. Good work!

#144 Colin on 04.25.11 at 4:46 pm

Is the housing market over inflated? Slightly to solidly yes, depending on where you live in the country. Some markets spent a long time under inflated, and have recently passed the mark of over inflation, where as the traditionally high markets have pushed well past.

Does it mean a correction? Every analyst, journalist and fool has an opinion. It might, depending on the continued economic stability (instability) both locally and internationally.

Do these stats presented mean its happening now? No. Calgary’s MLS listing boomed after the collapse of the American economy, it resulted in a small price adjustment (not a falling out of the floor) to which there has been generally steady recovery since. It could result in a short term price fixation, and likely will.

Real estate (land ownership) will always been a good holding, as long as you can weather the ups and downs of the market place. Our neighbors to the south will recover, and their housing markets will stabilize. Land is the one thing we are not making any more of. The key is, and forever will be, live within your means.

Your blanket statement about real estate ownership is untrue. No asset class gives continuously positive returns. Over $5 trillion in wealth has been destroyed in the US by real estate declines and most families will never recover. You are callous or unknowing in your dismissal of this. — Garth

#145 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 04.25.11 at 5:13 pm

“Says my source, Deep Throb:” — Hmmm. Rhymes with, and is remarkably similar to Linda Lovelace. More research is required! Songs? ‘Owzabout Fire — 2:44 clip by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, c. 1967 when telly was still black and white, or Ozzy Osbourne — 4:48 clip doing the same song, ‘tho he doesn’t bite any bats heads off or drinks their blood.

Where has Moneta gone? I enjoyed his / her posts.
#43 Jane and #61 BROMANCE — “One of the problems here in the US is that neighborhoods are rapidly deteriorating.”

When we were in the US last week, a friend from Wisconsin said that things have become so polarized in the state — Dems. vs. Repubs. — there is no middle ground anymore, people who have known one another for decades have taken either side, both sides are angry as hell at one another (lifelong friendships tossed down the drain), the economy sucks big time but the WH still hands billions to the Pentagon each year and gives Israel US$3 bln. yearly because. Just because.

Sheeple are afraid to speak out, for fear of causing civil disobedience and retribution from their neighbors. Meanwhile, vets sleep on the streets and eat from dumpsters, tent cities sprout forth like weeds. Maybe it’s time for a revolution. It has been done before, and will be done again. Economic recovery? Where?

#28 The Phantom — “. . . many Canadians have a spending problem as opposed to an income problem . . .” and #127 Luke Siragusa — “Simple. You’re living within your means; they’re not.”

Both good points. Sheeple still can’t seem to grasp the basics of differentiating between wants and needs. Something will have to slap them hard in the face before they realize they are the sole cause of their own problems.

#136 Timing is Everything — Nicely pointed out. See link below re: China and Japan.
Wise Words in today’s KDC — “A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.” — Benjamin Franklin. Could easily go with David Crane’s column head — “High dollar means high jobless rate”. The heading can be applied to NA, as both sides are fiscally broke and, other than perpetual war, have nothing left to offer.
Coincidences? Methinx knot, but it’s more just a play on numerology, numbers.

#83 Heart of the World — “Possible 50% fall in Chinese real estate prices? Oopsie!” — Which may lead to the following — Link in. Apparently, China is ready to unload some of their US debt holdings and, if Japan does the same (a few weeks after China), Garth’s title may be correct. Compounding Inflation John Mauldin sums it up quite nicely.

Megathrust ‘Quake — Coming Soon to a PNW near you! Dan in Victoria and Chaos — keep your heads up, listen and watch — if the tide goes out, the ocean becomes still as it did on Boxing Day 2004, head for higher ground or come to the Okanagan. Prince George and a lot more could all be oceanfront property sooner than anyone thinks!

The ‘quakes began in Haiti, moved to NZ then Chile, back to Japan and we’re the last stop on the Ring of Fire, but this may be a mega-quake.

#146 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 04.25.11 at 5:27 pm


Easter Monday in Canada, whatever that means. What does it celebrate, precisely, or even imprecisely?

Oh, I know; it observes the resurrection of some farty old union whack-job who didn’t like working for a living. So many “stats”, in this country of our’s, so little productivity.

So, on your undeserved day off, check out the real world’s angst. Look at the Drudge Report, as a for instance. What a debacle!

This from MarketWatch:

BOSTON (MarketWatch) — The International Monetary Fund has just dropped a bombshell, and nobody noticed.

For the first time, the international organization has set a date for the moment when the “Age of America” will end and the U.S. economy will be overtaken by that of China.

IMF sees China topping U.S. in 2016.

According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now…Most people aren’t prepared for this. They aren’t even aware it’s that close…Just 10 years ago, the U.S. economy was three times the size of China’s.

FROM THE MOUTH OF THE DRAGON (Xinhua news report)

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) — China should reduce its excessive foreign exchange reserves and further diversify its holdings, Tang Shuangning, chairman of China Everbright Group, said on Saturday.

The amount of foreign exchange reserves should be restricted to between 800 billion to 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars, Tang (said)…(His) remarks echoed the stance of Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank…and that the government should upgrade and diversify its foreign exchange management using the excessive reserves…and improving national welfare.


Don’t Like a Weak Dollar? Might as Well Get Used to It
21 Apr 2011. By: Jeff Cox

Weakness in the US dollar, which is causing everything to go up—including gas prices, food and stocks—is unlikely to go away soon as a selling frenzy hits the currency market.

The greenback is approaching pre-financial crisis lows and threatening to smash through its all-time low when measured against the world’s predominant national currencies.

A combination of factors accounts for the weakness, with the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies, huge national debts and deficits and the consequential possibility of a debt downgrade because of the financial mess in Washington leading the way.

In short, as trader Dennis Gartman noted, “the rout of the US dollar” is in full effect. “Panic dollar selling is setting in…This may carry farther than any of us dream of or, worse, have nightmares of.”


For months I’ve been grinding on about the state of things south of the line, in Europe and elsewhere. Very unfortunately many of these concerns have shown up on our doorstep (see above). More due soon.

What effect will all of this heaving geopolitical change have on Canada?

Probably a lot; for instance other stories on the Web today talk about a collapsing real estate market in China. That’ll be bad for Vancouver’s real estate market, RE customers, and Global TV’s Sarah Daniels!

The collateral damage from a collapsing empire is capricious, widespread, unjust, and crappy. We’ll be getting a lot more of that soon.


–The Taliban-inspired big jail breakout at Kandahar is a typical case in point. The bad guys are out and about now.

–And Syria. By now it should be clear to all that Syria is a colony of Iran, which accounts for all of the government violence going on there.

You are looking at true history in the making: the future of the Middle East is transforming into a new fundamentalist Islamic Caliphate. It’ll eventually sweep right through the region from Pakistan all the way west to Morocco.

Look carefully and think really, really high oil prices. Soon. There are not enough Western military forces who can stop this juggenaut.


Garth. Can we do better than the squirrel stew? I know I’ve asked this critical question before. but this time I really mean it!

How about some undiseased rabbits but NOT from the gender-challenged campus of the University of Victoria and its population of skanky, sick, fat little bunnies, whose misery is being prolonged by a number of apparently academically-excellent world improvers (humans!)?

What a time for a blog such as this? Think of the nice warm, comfort food recipes that could find their way onto this blog. Squirrels, rabbits, university academics. Just don’t cannibalize other cook books here; the full-meal deal.

#147 Timing is Everything on 04.25.11 at 5:29 pm

#132 Pat


I wonder why Jimmy the ‘professional’ musician stated what his job is in the first place? Why not simply state “I rent” and “I am known to have made roughly $21,000 last year.”
Odd statement…
Maybe more than a few ‘cash jobs’ on the side, eh Jim. ;)

Oh, I get it…It makes for a better story. A ‘professional’ ‘insert job here’ (urinal cleaner, gas jockey, maid, financial advisor, computer system admin) making $21k per year, not so much. Anybody making $21k per year has no business buying a house (mortgage) and SHOULD be renting. The ‘occupation’ is irrelevant, IMO.

One exception…maybe…would be the jack of all trades ‘handy-dude/ette’ type, that buys a a really cheap fixer-upper and can/wants to do majority of the ‘work’ him/herself. My three best friends are a PROFESSIONAL (read – certified) carpenter, plumber, and electrician. Seriously. I don’t know any professional musicians…Not my gig.

#148 The American on 04.25.11 at 5:42 pm

At #124: Junius, thanks! I really like your posts. One last point they made in our conversation is that when they were last in Shanghai a couple months back that it is turning into a “ghost town” with respect to the shopping. Of course they said there are many people out and about, but they took careful notice of people NOT purchasing luxury brands in the high-end stores, such as Louis Vuitton. They also stated in recent conversations with their mother that Richmond is ground zero for the collapse in BC and that real estate is definitely not moving as quickly as it was only three months ago. They said the dirty money is rapidly drying up in China and will be drying up in BC as well.

At #136: Timing is Everything, actually no. It is more like the corrupt Canadian officials who continue to turn a blind eye to the disgusting situation of Triad, billions of dollars of filthy cash that have poured in in the past, the increase of violent crime in BC specifically, and the creation of racially divided ghettos in a beautiful setting like Vancouver. You may want to start there first and work with them to stop this behavior from continuing to enter your country. Funny how you tried to turn that around. Ohhhh, the hypocrisy. Its laughable.

At #142: Racism and envy? Ummmm, you’re smoking too much of the BC bud. I’m far from a racist. Maybe you should read again how my best friends I have are Chinese :-) Oh, perhaps you just want to throw stones at a minority class because you didn’t even consider I too am a minority. Envy? Hardly for obvious reasons. I have family living in BC I am concerned about. Its time to stop this little charade of “it-is-different-here” bullshit. It is going to hurt a lot of people and ruin a lot of lives. The delusion encompassed there is the biggest poison of all – apart from emergency rates, paid-off media, and government wanting re-election. You’re clearly part of that dangerous drink.

#149 City Slicker on 04.25.11 at 5:52 pm

With all this talk of foreign investment I don’t think anyone is mentioned the fact that likely there are way more Canadians shopping for RE in the south, vs how many Chineese we have shopping in BC. And all the Canadian investment is not doing much for holding up the US market. Just saying….

#150 Lead Paint on 04.25.11 at 6:12 pm

#141 Junius

I did not say anything about the underlying reasons for real estate prices, or that this blog is only about normal real estate cycles. I agree with your premise.

However, if we aren’t taking action against these conniving dark forces, what we have here is little more than a support group.

Now join the circle and wait for your turn to say “My name is Junius, and I am a Garthaholic.”

#151 bill on 04.25.11 at 7:08 pm

SmarterThanYouLook :
that corrupt ”chinese money” and bc bud money have an influence on our local economy is not debatable really… Just how much.
its everywhere.not just real estate.
have you ever heard of ”81 transport”? they work in the film industry.

#152 S.B. on 04.25.11 at 7:11 pm

hehe received this by email today. Theme song?

Tax his land, Tax his bed,Tax the table At which he’s fed.
Tax his work,Tax his pay, He works for peanuts
Tax his cow, Tax his goat,Tax his pants,Tax his coat.
Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he Tries to think.
Tax his car, Tax his gas, Find other ways To tax his ass.
Tax all he has Then let him know That you won’t be done Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers; Then tax him some more, Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in Which he’s laid.
When he’s gone, Do not relax, Its time to apply The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable, Tax Airline surcharge tax, Airline FuelTax, Airport MaintenanceTax, Building Permit Tax, CigaretteTax, Corporate IncomeTax, DeathTax, Dog License Tax, Driving PermitTax, EnvironmentalTax (Fee), Excise Taxes, Federal Income Tax,Federal Unemployment (UI), Fishing License Tax, Food License Tax, Gasoline Tax (too much per litre), Gross Receipts Tax, HealthTax, Hunting License Tax, Hydro Tax, Inheritance Tax, Interest Tax, LiquorTax, Luxury Taxes, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Mortgage Tax, Personal Income Tax, Property Tax, Poverty Tax, Prescription Drug Tax, Provincial Income and sales tax, Real Estate Tax, Recreational Vehicle Tax, Retail Sales Tax, Service Charge Tax, School Tax, Telephone Federal Tax, Telephone Federal, Provincial and Local Surcharge Taxes, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax, Vehicle License Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, WaterTax, Watercraft RegistrationTax, Well Permit Tax, Workers Compensation Tax, — and in 2010 the HST


Not one of these taxes existed 60 years ago, & our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had a large middle class, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in “H-ll” happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’

#153 Timing is Everything on 04.25.11 at 7:25 pm

#85 S.B.

Well, it’s a damn good thing BC bud is medicine now.

#154 totalchaos on 04.25.11 at 7:26 pm

I found the musician’s story very interesting, and similar in theme to what I have been thinking of this weekend.

A few days ago, I was chatting with two people and discussing their renovation. One asked the other if they were “over 3” yes they were, in fact they were “over 4” “Oh, us too, but we haven’t done the kitchen yet” “ We are simple folk, so we only went for granite counters, not marble” (Holy doodle! These folks are each looking at a half million dollar RENO!)

Then it got really interesting as one said they had to slow down on the reno as they had run out of money. It seems they have spent a year renovating a new place while living in the old one. They make well over 200K/year, probably close to 300K (no pension) and would have been earning that for at least 15 years. They did not run out of money, they ran out of credit!

The same day I had a conversation with a stay-at-home mum of 5 kids. Husband has an unskilled, but stable job with a pension. They “only” rent a house, but manage to salt some money away in an RRSP annually. I’m sure the budget is very tight, but as the kids get older and leave home, they will find themselves with more free cash and be able to have a tidy nest egg upon retirement. No, the parents will not fund four years of uni for five kids, but so what? There are scholarships and student loans for a reason, and these kids understand the difference between want and need. That is a gift that so few have been given.

Upon retirement, the first two couples will have to sell their homes as it is doubtful they will be able to fund their lifestyle. Retirement will be stressful trying to keep up appearances and cutting back. The last couple will be able to carry on living just as they always have. In fact, by not having children at home, they will most likely find they can give themselves an indulgence or two now and then. I’m sure their twilight years will be very content.

Right now, I’m sure couples 1 and 2 would look down on couple 3, but I know who I would rather be when I retire!

#155 jess on 04.25.11 at 7:59 pm

13 OnlyTheBankersLaugh

The Financial Instability Hypothesis (FIH).

…”subjective state of expectations” will give rise to three different methods of financing: hedge, speculative, and ponzi…

#156 pablo on 04.25.11 at 8:00 pm

No panic, no blood in the streets, no tsunami of new listings in my corner of the asylum; just more of the same old same old here in rainy durham region. just thrown in my dous peso’s.

#157 Timing is Everything on 04.25.11 at 8:06 pm

#149 The American

Oh, there’s plenty hypocrisy to go around. I didn’t try to turn it around. I did.
BTW, since you brought it up, we Canucks need both Chinese and American ‘corruption’ as much you need ours.

We’re all in this together, bud. (BC that is) ;)

Just 4 U…

#158 Hoof - Hearted on 04.25.11 at 8:30 pm


Good posts….adds more detail to the obvious.

What unfortunately happens is the Gov’ts accept and then get addicted to how it all unfolds. Offshore investment of RE should never be allowed . Rentals of commercial and other RE groups ie dedicated rentals is OK, these reflect the local market market conditions.

Once one opens the doors to SFH and condos , this skews the market. I don’t want to say everyone is “owed” a place to live free-hold / clear title, but I sure as hell feel that somewhere in the holistic equation that the chance/opportunity should not be usurped by factions that are laundering money from jurisdictions that are an economic clusterf*ck .

People want some form of security, and our gov’ts have betrayed us under the current system.

American’s observations are consistent with mine, the entire system is a joke and ripe for collapse.

#159 Onemorething on 04.25.11 at 8:30 pm

The money always comes home when the ecomomy tumbles! I refer to the minor RE investment the Chinese have in VAN-TOR.

Again smart Asian investors pulled out 8-10 months ago.

#160 Pat on 04.25.11 at 8:36 pm

@ #139 Abitibidoug,

By “single” I meant no children (should be clear from the context if you’d read the rest of what I wrote).

@ #143 tkid wrote:
“Pat, he only makes $20,000 a year. That’s poverty level…”

Who do you think has more disposable income, a single dude making $1,600/mo net (+free drinks) or a family of 4 with $4,000/mo? Write down sample budgets and you’ll see.

#161 realpaul on 04.25.11 at 8:43 pm

Waterfront property values plunge in Japan. Who says that real estate is forever?

It doesn’t take much to turn your nest egg into a swirling toilet……….concentration……is bad. In BC…for example……there are some bad things that could happen if low laying areas were to flood unretreivabley.

West Coast Logic says;

1) Low areas would be rendered uninhabitable

2) Higher areas would be expropriated for redevelopment to house the displaced.

1 + 1 = you’re ‘fooked’ either way in a Japan style disaster. Whereas buying a REIT of mainly GTO commercial property may save your bacon…….hmmmmmmmmm….here piggy piggy piggy.

#162 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 04.25.11 at 8:45 pm

Ten min. clip One can take the view that all questions asked will be answered by 2015, one way or the other.

Staying beyond their welcome time, despite the fact dubya said “Mission accomplished” on a US carrier’s deck.

Iodine in Salt Why it is / is it added.

US hellholes “All over the nation many of our greatest cities are being slowly but surely transformed into post-apocalyptic wastelands.”

2:29 clip New scam on not being able to retrieve precious metals. Someone else took them.

We The People “America today is no longer a Land of Opportunity but one of basic survival for the middle to lower class tax brackets.” Kannaduh also.

Atlas Shrugged Thirty three new ways of shrugging, starring Hercules.

4:45 clip Shadow US govt. run by US Fed. Reserve.

Cumberland County may close its library services and lay people off.

7:03 clipHalliburton and Dick Cheney, the one who ordered the USAF to stand down for an hour during 9-11.

Hungry in America Canada too. Economy is doing just fine. Plus this.

Copper Crimes Thefts are on the increase.

Libya Financial heist doesn’t just incl. oil.

2:36 clip Military patrols sarting in Columbus, Ohio.

Home Schooling is becoming popular. Teachers losing jobs may be one reason.

Great Britain Not so great humanitarian record in Libya.

Safety Net “Being forced into the military. “See? It’s not really a draft! Honest!! They and their families can starve if they really oppose the wars!” — Official White Horse Souse.

Inequality The days of wine, roses and chocolate covered strawberries are long since gone.

Silver at US$100 But what is the US$ worth?

9:54 clip Wall Street behind high food / oil prices.

#163 Calvin Hobbs on 04.25.11 at 8:48 pm

Hey Timing is Everything, I still don’t see what you turned around. He had a point, and stated his mind. You basically lost the point and started the “look over here” game. The American handed your ass to you on a silver platter. I still don’t get what you did to turn it around. Anyone? *crickets chirping*

#164 Calvin Hobbs on 04.25.11 at 8:56 pm

In 149 The American said in “The delusion encompassed there [BC] is the biggest poison of all – apart from emergency rates, paid-off media, and government wanting re-election. You’re clearly part of that dangerous drink.”

S N A P tres fold! I don’t know if I could have said it better myself.

#165 Brad in Van on 04.25.11 at 9:02 pm

Why is everyone hatin’ on The American today? Did he poop in someone’s Post Toasties? HAHAHAHAHA

Looks to me he’s struck a chord and some people are sensitive. I think he’s got several valid points here. Instead of being so defensive about it, maybe we should take pause and think about it, eh? He HAS been able to back it up so far.

#166 Luke Imcamp on 04.25.11 at 9:04 pm

Responding to Pen Pal at #126: Pussy. Gonna take your ball and go home? You don’t like being wrong, do you! I think its kinda cute.

#167 Abitibidoug on 04.25.11 at 9:10 pm

In response to #161 by Pat:
As I said before, with or without kids the couple or family of 4 with an income of $4000 per month has more economies of scale than the single making the paltry wage of $1600 per month. A single could get by on that amount in Winnipeg, but would have a much harder time in more expensive Toronto or Vancouver. A much harder time, I should add, than the family with more than double that paltry amount of $1600/month.

#168 The American on 04.25.11 at 9:21 pm

At #158: Timing Is Everything, you gotta love John Candy, the great Canadian actor. I’ve noticed a lot of his old movies on television recently in the past two weeks. What’s with that? Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors, Delirious, Nothing but Trouble, and Planes Trains & Automobiles. Is this an anniversary for him? He will always be missed.

#169 BPOE on 04.25.11 at 9:25 pm

American, you berate me for not stating facts or reliable resources. Fact is people from all over the world want in not just Asia. Head up North to West Vancouver a multicultural mecca of rich from around the world. Middle East oil parks its money in this Xanadu
Frankly, I believe them. They have no cause to lie to me, never have they lied to me, and they were speaking with such authority on the matter it was difficult not to believe them.

#170 Utopia on 04.25.11 at 9:40 pm

Moneta? Hello, hello…????

It’s not quite the same without you, dear.

#171 tkid on 04.25.11 at 9:41 pm

Pat, you are delusional. 21000 a year gross gets you $1200 a month net. This is know because this was my salary @ $21,500 a year. If you think $1200 a month net is the lap of luxury simply because one is single, I reiterate Jimmy’s question with an edit:

How is it that an apartment-dwelling professional musician clearing [$600 every two weeks] is in a better financial situation than 40% of the country? And, honestly, how bad is it that I am?

How on earth could anyone be jealous of $600 every two weeks? Yes, Dude, you come across as being intensely jealous of Jimmy.

#172 Timing is Everything on 04.25.11 at 9:47 pm

#164 Calvin Hobbs

I’m just pointing out that both systems (Chinese/US) are based on a ‘Ponzi’ scheme. You don’t think so? I say a Ponzi is a Ponzi. They all look the same to me.

“This 30 year in the making, American government-endorsed, and president-presided-over Ponzi Scheme is what has severely damaged our economy, as well as other economies around the world. China has played a big role in the downfall by becoming the world’s assembly line using low paid, unprotected workers.”

#173 Todd on 04.25.11 at 9:54 pm

On how to get rid of “first” people:

Get your web guy to write a comment filter that checks to see whether the word “first” appears in the comment, then put some logic behind it, like if the post also contains less than 30 characters or repeats the same character more than once and the non-repetitive characters spell first (like firrrst), or if there are multiple spaces where the non-space characters spell “first”. If anything matching the filter is met, the comment is rejected at the form or just dropped into oblivion, perhaps with a nice “thanks for the first, asshat” comment. That should filter out the dingii. Your web guy should be able to whip that up in under an hour, G-man.

#174 Calvin Hobbs on 04.25.11 at 10:00 pm

Timing is Everything:

You can believe what you choose. Comparing the U.S. economic system to China’s is damn near offensive. I don’t think the U.S. is without blame as they’ve allowed big business to take over in way of the little man. BUT, they do have RIGHTS at the end of the day and you can make all the comparisons you’d like with injustices and how similar they are (we’ve all heard that nutcase bullshit before), but spare us the rhetoric, okay? China is the biggest offender on the planet for raping their people of their basic human rights. The people in China have no voice at all and their government does not give a damn about it. Also, you probably need to define the word “Ponzi.”

#175 Calvin Hobbs on 04.25.11 at 10:05 pm

Timing is everything… By the way, what a real f*cking reliable source of information you provided in 173. You should try to branch out a little more than some blog of some kid in his parents’ basement with a Commodor 64. Also, that was nearly two and a half years ago when that was posted. Are you pulling our leg just to get a reaction? I hope so.

#176 Golden Boy on 04.25.11 at 10:16 pm

@Cloven-hooved #159:
You don’t have a god-given right to own a house in the city of your birth.
There’s a creeping whiney racism about “your Asians” buying up all the property in Vancouver.
Explain to me how a furriner buying a $3M house in the British Properties affects you ability to buy a $250K condo in New West?

#177 Calvin Hobbs on 04.26.11 at 12:25 am

Chia Pet…. say wahhhhhhhhhhht? I think you all are just making this up as you go along. I read all The American’s posts for the past several days. What has he said to be a racist?

You are right. Thou dost protest too much. I’ve read your posts Chia Pet, and you must be a realturd.

#178 betamax on 04.26.11 at 2:17 am

#176 Chia Pet: “If it looks like envy, smells like envy, it’s probably envy.”

If. But it doesn’t look like it or smell like it, so it’s probably not.

My wife is from mainland China and agrees with his characterization of the gross corruption there.

#179 Apsalar on 04.26.11 at 7:27 am

“So tell me. How is it that an apartment-dwelling professional musician clearing $21,000 a year is in a better financial situation than 40% of the country? And, honestly, how bad is it that I am?”

Excellent point. I think it’s called “living within your means” — something that I do also.

That was a great post Garth/Jimmy. Proves it is possible to save, no matter what your income if you are careful and prudent with your income.

#180 Pat on 04.26.11 at 10:22 am

#172 tkid wrote:

“Pat, you are delusional. 21000 a year gross gets you $1200…”

Let’s see. He falls in the lowest tax bracket, federal + provincial probably about 20%. In addition, about half of his income should be an exemption. So his total income tax should be ~ $2,000.

Now you go into my GFLIQL.

#181 Patiently Waiting on 04.26.11 at 10:30 am

Nobody should have money making 2%. Real estate affordability could be two years off. Of course you should invest – there are many choices with high liquidity and acceptable risk. — Garth

I am in a similar situation having recently sold my house in Vancouver area (and have over $800,000 cash in a high interest savings account). I am nervous about putting the money into preferred shares/stock market as I think the stock market is also in bubble territory that may correct similar to the housing market. What investment vehicle is there that can yield a a decent return without too much risk? Any suggestions would be appreciated . . .

Get an advisor. If you don’t know one, email me ([email protected]) — Garth

#182 super dave on 04.26.11 at 12:18 pm

Chinese boost Vancouver Market

“according to local realtors… Canadian realtors do not tally data on foreign investment in residential real estate…”

So, what is wrong with these two statements?

#183 Dave Girtsman on 04.26.11 at 3:52 pm

Hi mikef, thanks for posting the link to my Housing Bubble song!

I was wondering where all the hits came from!