Normal

Two nights ago Mary waited for offers to pour in on her client’s home in north Toronto. And pour they did. Thirteen of them, four from other realtors. But it didn’t end there.

“One agent who didn’t get the house actually followed my clients home from the office,” the broker of nine years tells me. “The clients had already accepted a firm offer, but he confronted them on the driveway and tried to get them to take more.”

So this is what it’s come to. Realtor stalkers.

About the same time, two reporters showed up outside a failed Italian restaurant on 11th Avenue in Calgary to witness a ragtag collection of people with blankets and lawn chairs snaking across a parking lot (above). This was the hastily-outfitted presentation centre for The Guardian, whose claim to fame in a testo-drenched town is that it’ll be the tallest residential pointy thing sticking out of the dirt by the time it’s built in 2015 (or maybe 2016).

One reporter, for the breathless Sun, rushed back and wrote a story.

“Eager home buyers lined up in droves — some even camped overnight — for the first chance to buy units in what is slated to be the city’s tallest residential tower,” it read. “Armed with a tent and sleeping bag, Kenneth Ho showed up with his sister around 6:30 p.m. Friday, nearly 18 hours ahead of the noon Saturday start of public sales at The Guardian, a 44-storey tower slated for the East Village.”

And this: “With prices starting around $150,000, interest was expected to be high, said Guardian spokesman Brian Woolley. ‘We probably had 150 calls (Friday),”’he said. But industry insiders say it’s a sure sign of an improving market that cooled considerably after the heated days of 2006 and 2007.”

The other reporter, for the Herald, didn’t impress so easily. “I was assigned to be there,” he told me, “but we canned the story.” With good reason. The frenzy had been largely manufactured. While The Guardian was advertised as being a towering monument to affordability, turns out only one of the 321 units was offered at $150,000 and six more under $180,000. For that, a few people managed to buy 450-square-foot closets.

Oh yeah, and there was also a special on two-bedroom units dangled like red meat in front of the frozen masses – just $314,000. Sadly, only one was available.

“Another fun fact,” the cynical reporter reports, “a condo building on that same site went into receivership in 2009.”

In fact, the average Calgary condo sells for less today than it did a year ago ($289,000), and has yet to recover to the average price in February of 2008 ($295,000) or the winter of 2007 ($301,777). This pathetic blog has been peppered with woeful tales of young virgins lured into the Cowtown condo morass only to end up in negative equity, and hating their house-horny mother-in-laws.

But don’t let that deter anyone.

“When we look at Alberta, and in particular Calgary, you’ve got strong employment growth, you’ve got in-migration and you’ve got vacancy rates that are plummeting and that all points to a strong real estate market,” says the big-erection condo guy. “If you went to Vancouver to buy, you’ve be paying a lot more for the same suite.”

But wait, Calgary has far fewer Starbucks. And gay people. And more Silverados with balls. How on earth can there be a valid comparison? Besides, the Van condo market is coming apart at the seams, and it’s been months since developers rented people to sit in front of a sales centre, and fool Global TV. This is the stuff all good economists quantify.

No, what the above tells us – in both Toronto and Calgary (and places like Richmond Hill, as documented some days ago) – is that residential real estate has entered the demented phase in which common sense is replaced by panicked competition. The ‘buy now or buy never’ mentality never fails to mark a market top, that point of greatest risk.

By the way, a new condo tower on Toronto’s downtown Yonge Street – not to be occupied until 2016 – is now selling parking spaces for $60,000. But to qualify, you have to buy a unit worth more than $500,000. Sigh.

By the way, on Sunday the Government of Canada, now officially called ‘The Harper Government’ announced a new mortgage code aimed at making it clear what penalty you’ll incur for breaking a mortgage before the end of the term. As you probably know, this has been a massive shocker to many people who thought they’d face a three-month penalty and end up with an interest rate differential (IRD) payment vastly higher.

So does the code tell the banks how much they can demand? Are you kidding? But they’ll soon have to disclose their rules in advance, clearly. You can read the document for yourself here. (I expect to be sending out some updates on this shortly, on Twitter. You can follow me @garthturner.)

On a sadly related note, the land transfer tax on the average SFH in 416 is now $24,000.

Yes, everything is completely normal.

Update: The Calgary Herald did in fact run a story on The Guardian mania in yesterday’s edition. Read it here.  Notable were the final words: “It’s another sign that potential homebuyers in the city have an appetite once again for inner-city residential condos. And that is being fuelled by a growing local economy and the resulting positive outlook people have in the future.” Once again, the MSM steps across the line, leaping the distance from reporting to boosterism.  At least the advertisers are happy.

220 comments ↓

#1 Dr. WAYNE on 03.04.12 at 6:29 pm

Immaculate conception … who are you trying to kid?

#2 OneMoreThing on 03.04.12 at 6:38 pm

Hong Kong sized flats about the same size are about 5x more on the island and 3x Kowloon side.

What a deal! But wait it’s Calgary! You’ve got more sqft if you put a cap on your pickup!

#3 Canadian in America on 03.04.12 at 6:38 pm

Any advice for a Canadian living in the US?

Stay. — Garth

#4 Doug Hiscock on 03.04.12 at 6:40 pm

Always great. FIRZZT !!

#5 Phil on 03.04.12 at 6:40 pm

Of course if you predict an event long enough, you’re bound to be right, eventually. It all hinges on an increase in interest rates and I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.
And now for my favourite Jerry Springer show line, “Just sayin’ is all…”
Phil

It does not all hinge on rates. Go visit Kelowna, or London. — Garth

#6 NYCer on 03.04.12 at 6:40 pm

That is scary to know $60k for a parking spot, yikes!

Never owning a condo.

#7 Gta fun on 03.04.12 at 6:44 pm

Noticed that prices in Mineola west are dropping…. And 21 listings mostly the same houses… I think a bidding war is an anomaly :)

#8 MDQ on 03.04.12 at 6:46 pm

First!?

#9 Gta fun on 03.04.12 at 6:46 pm

On a side note… The realtors that I know want out of their properties. Expenses are too high and they are experiencing the downturn first hand. Not enough listings they say… Or too many agents and not enough buyers… I would think.

#10 Jedan on 03.04.12 at 6:50 pm

Do you forsee stagflation? Great blog btw.

#11 Ret on 03.04.12 at 6:52 pm

The Ford boys from Toronto were on for their second radio show today at 1:00pm on 1010.

They stated that 143 condos of 12 floors or more are now under construction in T.O. for a total of $8B or more of construction activity. More condos are being built than Chicago, New York city, L.A. and some other American city (?) combined!

I hope that wasn’t a boast. — Garth

#12 ero on 03.04.12 at 6:54 pm

Canada is nice but delusional BC is so much better

#13 NoName on 03.04.12 at 6:57 pm

Food and other selected items, average retail prices percentage increase from jan 2008 to jan 2012

http://goo.gl/zRzXO

data taken from:
http://www40.statcan.gc.ca/l01/cst01/econ155a-eng.htm

#14 Freedom 55 on 03.04.12 at 7:06 pm

A little education on bonds and interest rates…

When interest rates rise, the prices of outstanding bonds fall; when rates fall, prices rise. Though this relation might not seem obvious at first, the reasons are fairly simple.

http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/Bond_supplement.html

Screw the bond!

Actually demand can means as much or more to bond prices. This is why bond yields are particularly low now and prices high, because investors have flocked there for capital preservation. You demonstrate well that a little knowledge is financial suicide. — Garth

#15 Freedom 55 on 03.04.12 at 7:18 pm

You demonstrate well that a little knowledge is financial suicide. — Garth
——————————————————-

But let me make it simple:

If interest rates were 10% and increased by 1%, that is a relative 10% increase in interest rates.

If interest rates were 1% and increased by 1%, that is a relative 100% increase in interest rates.

So we can see why bond prices are much more sensitive to interest rate changes in lower interest rate environments. Which we are in. We also expect interest rates to rise a few percentage points in the future.

So essentially, while many investors have flocked to fixed income looking for safety, they could be in store for a very rude awakening to how bond pricing works.

Nobody ‘flocks to fixed income for safety’ on a long-term basis when rates are at record lows. And rates are not rising for some time to come (the Fed says 2014). Bonds are a perfectly fine place to ride out a storm, but should be owned with the same acumen and strategies as equities. — Garth

#16 James F on 03.04.12 at 7:23 pm

Moved to USA 7 years ago. Never moving back to Canada.

#17 TurnerNation on 03.04.12 at 7:28 pm

And dog = god backwards. I get today’s picture!! ;-)

That took long enough… — Garth

#18 bridgepigeon on 03.04.12 at 7:28 pm

The trouble with normal is it always gets worse…..Bruce Cockburn

#19 a prairie dawg on 03.04.12 at 7:29 pm

Yeah that ‘The Harper Government’ schtick takes some major cajones. H is doing his interpretation of “It’s good to be King.”

Let him have his fun for now, he’ll be ‘King of the RoboCons’ in the next election…

#20 Boombust on 03.04.12 at 7:35 pm

“Moved to USA 7 years ago. Never moving back to Canada.”

‘bye now!

#21 Dale in TO on 03.04.12 at 7:36 pm

I am sure most of you saw this in the G&M. Check it out.

http://fmlistings.tumblr.com/

Very entertaining and damning.

#22 Sebee on 03.04.12 at 7:36 pm

Not much drop on that Calgary condo average.

Deduct carrying costs and commissions. Painful. — Garth

#23 dddd on 03.04.12 at 7:42 pm

It does not all hinge on rates. Go visit Kelowna, or London. — Garth

add kelowna, london, throw in victoria and halifax , and you are still a small fraction of gta and van markets.

#24 dddd on 03.04.12 at 7:45 pm

further. having lived in most of those places, it’s east to see why houses in vancouver are 2-5x more.

#25 Cato on 03.04.12 at 7:47 pm

The marketing machine of the big banks must be working overtime. Something is up, I’ve met too many twenty somethings suddenly looking to jump into a house all saying the same thing. They all seem to be saying now is the time to buy because rates will never be this low. Either there is something in the water or someone is has been reaching out to them, of course their faces go blank if you ask them what happens if rates go up and house prices go down. Heard the same thing just before things started crashing hard in California, “buy now because money is never going to be this cheap again”.

#26 not 1st on 03.04.12 at 7:55 pm

You can get a brand new 2000 sq ft house in the burbs in cowtown for $300k, no garage, $350k with garage. Why would I want to live in a box no matter how high in the sky it is?

#27 JO on 03.04.12 at 7:56 pm

Can anyone say PARABOLIC – as the last few fools jump into the RE bubble and become willing debt slaves, the junk neo liberal economists and politicos watch and wait for foreclosure time in a year or two…what a great system..fool the average man into thinking they are wealthy when they are instead being taxed and making a small number of top level RE and banking dudes very rich.

As Michael Hudson would say, TINA – neo liberals will give Canadians the same excuse as everywhere else: There Is No Alternative to gut wrenching austerity, forced public asset sales at pennies on the dollar, and exploding unemployment with hoardes of debt slaves stuck with nothing. All this and more in the RE debacle to follow soon in a neighborhood near you.
JO

#28 s on 03.04.12 at 7:57 pm

There’s still huge demand in vancouver, I hope its true that prices will go down but houses are sold over asking and open houses are still insanely crowded, although anecdotal, the market is still nuts.

I don’t see the decrease that the numbers Garth mentioned shows, although I hope he’s correct and we are in a decline.

Garth do you know why Vancouver’s still nuts with insane housing prices it almost feels like it’s going to continue to go up, although I hope it’s not true.

I know all bubbles eventually end but this has been going on for an insane amount of time.

#29 not 1st on 03.04.12 at 7:57 pm

Vancouver vs Dublin – before and after bubble pops. See the result.

http://www.businessinsider.com/see-what-890000-buys-in-a-housing-bubble-and-after-the-bubble-pops-2012-3

#30 s on 03.04.12 at 7:58 pm

One last note, I hope F puts an end to all this. Although I know unlikely if he does the conservatives would be cooked as well.

#31 TaxHaven on 03.04.12 at 8:03 pm

I never hear anything about the REAL economy on this blog, or from the commenters.

Why not?

Seems to me that just about all the small businesses around here are having a har time breaking even at best, or are losing money. No new businesses have opened in the seven months I’ve lived here (Vancouver Island). Some are quite obviously on their last legs financially.

Supermarket competition is FIERCE. People SEEM to be buying more basics, less frilly snacks and Little Debby stuff and buying in BULK.

The only jobs seem to be in Tim Horton’s-type work – though I haven’t SEEN anyone advertising for help at all. Kids all leave for big cities or live in basements. At least my firewood supply guy has a better idea – he only works on weekends, for cash.

People on fixed incomes are getting crushed.

But three groups are doing well: the few guys in the resource industries, the thousands of government empoyees and the social welfare benefit recipients.

They drive the new RAM and F-150 pickups. Always NEW. They buy prepared salads, order pizzas at $15, $20 $25 and shop in delis, drink Tim Horton and “McCafe” coffees at $3+ a cup. THESE people keep Home Depot, coffeeshops, car dealers, quad and motocros bike stores, restaurants and liquor stores in business.

I buy 5 lbs. potatoes for $3.97. Probably like many people…

SO WHERE THE HELL ARE THE JOBS AND MONEY COMING FROM?

Either government is printing (debt) like crazy, racking up huge deficits or individuals are. Which is it? Both? And is it sustainable?

#32 Smoking Man on 03.04.12 at 8:04 pm

Good time to load up on uranium miners.

A haa the pic.
Brought Me back to a thing I tought of on the last drunkin stooper

Religion is to humanity what a virous is to a hardrive.

#33 zman on 03.04.12 at 8:05 pm

hi garth

why are realtors bidding on the house….is it to flip the house for a profit….what to they know that we dont…could it be that there are a lot of HAM coming there and so there is no correction ahead….

#34 Dimitry on 03.04.12 at 8:05 pm

Lou Berkovitz on his paid program on AM 640 calls all sellers to sell now because he doesn’t foresee active market for GTA for more than 6 weeks.

#35 Blue Monster Lover of Cookies on 03.04.12 at 8:10 pm

#17 TurnerNation on 03.04.12 at 7:28 pm

And dog = god backwards. I get today’s picture!! ;-)

That took long enough… — Garth
—–
No, it’s just a dog, there’s no such thing as God.

#36 Ret on 03.04.12 at 8:10 pm

Melissa Hart’s blog. What a complete cut up of Toronto RE prices and RE ads.

Click on the http: link for each property to get the full scoop for each property.

http://fmlistings.tumblr.com/

2 bed/2 bath in North York or Whitney Houston’s mansion? Which one do you think has more pot lights?

If its got pot lights, it must be worth 1 Million!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/globe-to/if-its-got-pot-lights-it-must-be-worth-1-million/article2357257/

#37 Cowtowner on 03.04.12 at 8:12 pm

And yet… Calgary SFH inventories are less than 90 days, Feb sales are up y/y. Low interest rates, 500k to be had for 2400 per month and 100K per year to qualify. Career section in the Herald getting thicker. Looks like prices will be headed up again. Calgary is a great place, taxes are low and seem to be a lot of good paying jobs. I can see why people are coming to live here and buy a home.

Interesting times for sure

#38 OnlyTheBankersLaugh on 03.04.12 at 8:17 pm

Still, despite a “couple of articles” in MSM, no one believes that real estate will fall in Toronto or Vancouver, immigrants/foriegn investors will save us and it’s done so well for most boomers. Thus, the lack of fear in investing in real estate compared to stock markets is astounding.

#39 Scalgary on 03.04.12 at 8:27 pm

Great post Garth…!

Could you please write a blog on buying corporate bonds? Risks, returns and watch out list…

Keep up the great work!

Warm regards…

#40 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.04.12 at 8:31 pm

#227 Herb on 03.04.12 at 1:59 pm

#208 Eaglebay-Parksville,
“Harper will do what’s good for the country …”

“On which of his government’s actions in the last six years do you base this forlorne hope?”
……….
I base this “forlorne” hope by looking at the NDP and the Liberal parties. Something to look forward to.

#236 Form Man on 03.04.12 at 3:14 pm
#227 Herb
“Harper can be relied upon to do what is worst for Canada. Eaglebay is a typical Albertan. They believe that the Alberta’s prosperity is due to Conservative policies, rather than a geological gift. If not for oil and gas, Alberta would be nothing.”
……….
Every province has a geological gift. It’s how you use it.
Unlike the tree huggers in BC, not to mention Debtario.
By the way if you drive a car and eat you need Alberta.

#41 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.04.12 at 8:36 pm

Everyone should note:
Garth is talking about actual bonds, not Bond ETFs.

IMO, bond ETFs are riskier at the moment, given that they never mature and give you back your money.

#42 Peterfromcalgary on 03.04.12 at 8:36 pm

I got the newspaper article from the sun if front of me the last paragraph is revealing 1181 condos were built in 2010 and 3412 in 2011. More supply is not a good thing for prices. Of coarse the sun does not mention this.

#43 terces on 03.04.12 at 8:37 pm

Here is an interesting tidbit from Victoria

http://househuntvictoria.blogspot.com/

Look at the third paragraph titled “Average Price” and you will see that since August 2011 the decline has been -11.2%.

They are still able to disguise this as the price went up in the first part of 2011 before entering the “cliff” phase, so the annual number for 2011 as reported in Teranet shows a .32% gain.

#44 Daisy Mae on 03.04.12 at 8:47 pm

Love the picture! LOL

#45 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.04.12 at 8:49 pm

#12 ero on 03.04.12 at 6:54 pm
“Canada is nice but delusional BC is so much better”
……….
You mean Vancouver and Victoria.

#46 TnT on 03.04.12 at 8:55 pm

Is it possible that there are enough millionaire new Canadians from Asia that it could keep the middle class of GTA from competing in a decent home? 1.3 billion in population could mean thousands of Millionaires coming to GTA and that’s way more buyers than middle class Canadians trying to get in this market.

#47 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.04.12 at 8:58 pm

#16 James F on 03.04.12 at 7:23 pm
“Moved to USA 7 years ago. Never moving back to Canada.”
……….
Once an immigrant always an immigrant.
11.8% of the US population was born outside the US.
How’s your Spanish?

#48 Victor on 03.04.12 at 9:00 pm

#32 Smoking Man on 03.04.12 at 8:04 pm

Good time to load up on uranium miners.

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

Better to have bought them months ago, but companies like UUU and CCO still have plenty of upside left.

#49 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.04.12 at 9:04 pm

#19 a prairie dawg on 03.04.12 at 7:29 pm
“Yeah that ‘The Harper Government’ schtick takes some major cajones. H is doing his interpretation of “It’s good to be King.””
……….
Yeah….looking forward to Bob Rae as the next “king”.
Herb and Form Man should be happy now.

#50 Daisy Mae on 03.04.12 at 9:09 pm

40 comments ↓
#1Dr. WAYNE on 03.04.12 at 6:29 pm
“Immaculate conception … who are you trying to kid?’

********************

No one.

#51 DM in C on 03.04.12 at 9:14 pm

#37 Cowtowner

RE Agent with time on your hands, eh?

Prices can go up indefinitely — right, and interest rates will stay low forever. Sheeple thinking.

In fact, I think we’ve hit critical mass for the first time buyers in Calgary.

In my NW neighborhood, one very much ‘in demand’ — listings sit, stale and lonely. One house around the corner from me is on it’s 4th listing (and realtor) in 3 years. Can’t get the price they want. Another house on my street, backing on green space with a huge backyard — same problem. Listed at delusional price, sits there, going on for three years now — the listing doesn’t show up on MLS any more.

One of my employees listed her SW townhome more than a month ago. Three showings, no offers. Nobody’s buying right now.

Dream on, buddy.

#52 Nothing is selling on 03.04.12 at 9:17 pm

Live in north york (young and Sheppard ) and drive all the way to the annex where I work and nothing is selling. I go through side streets and even driving through foresthill and all you see is for sale signs with the odd one or two with sold signs and those have been up for over two months now. A coworker has been trying to sell her condo which is near rogers Centre for the last four months with no takers. She got alot of viewers but no one willing to buy. The market looks really bad as more and more people are believing the bubble in Toronto is going to pop. Even bankers know it’s a bubble but they call it a balloon . Lol

#53 Amazed on 03.04.12 at 9:18 pm

Buying a house is one thing… Paying the increasing property taxes, maintainence costs etc… Is what’s going to change the market.

#54 Victor on 03.04.12 at 9:19 pm

Why a rate hike could come sooner than expected

Published Sunday, Mar. 04, 2012 7:17PM EST

For most observers, Mr. Carney is likely on hold until late next year, and possibly into 2014. But some say not to be shocked if he raises rates at least once in the last few months of 2012. Apart from only being able to shield Central Canada’s manufacturing base from higher borrowing costs for so long, Mr. Carney also has indicated escalating concern about Canadians’ record levels of household debt. So far, the pace of borrowing has slowed, but not by as much as you might expect, considering the parade of warnings over the past two years.

As economists are fond of saying, it is only a matter of time before Mr. Carney concludes that actions speak louder than words.

“There’s more probability that the Bank will surprise us with a sooner increase in rates,” said Charles St-Arnaud, a Canada analyst at Nomura Securities in New York. “As soon as all the uncertainty is removed, they could shift gears very quickly.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/why-a-rate-hike-could-come-sooner-than-expected/article2358340/singlepage/#articlecontent

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

Tick tock…

#55 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.04.12 at 9:20 pm

#31 TaxHaven on 03.04.12 at 8:03 pm

By the way Victoria isn’t Vancouver Island.
You’re contradicting yourself in your post.
Get out of downtown and see what’s going on.

#56 Mark on 03.04.12 at 9:31 pm

Just in case anybody thinks the USA is getting its act together let this link convince you otherwise.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=202930

Are you serious? — Garth

#57 Steven Rowlandson on 03.04.12 at 9:33 pm

Any advice for a Canadian living in the US?

Stay. — Garth
Actually Garth in the event of an iceage that is probably very good advice as long as the canadian in question is close to the south west or gulf of mexico.
From what I have learned we are probably close to the end of an interglacial period and due to go back into the deep freeze.

#58 HAM is really BAM on 03.04.12 at 9:33 pm

Was out with my mortgage buddy and his mortgage friends and boy do they have stories to tell you. I was asking what they thought of HAM and they couldn’t stop laughing. The call HAM Borrowed Asian money. They explained to me that Asians are crazy gamblers who goto mortgage brokers where the broker works their liar loan and just like magic BAM is mistaken for HAM. Yes some are real HAM but those numbers are small. Now that lair loans are no more the mortgage brokers are saying the housing crash is 100%.

#59 truth hammer on 03.04.12 at 9:34 pm

Heres a story with a lot more truth in it than meets the eye….kids and/or garandkids inherit the homestead from grammie in the better part of town….can’t afford a rat trap in upkeep on top of taxes…….

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/04/a-gnawing-problem-for-neighbours-homeowner-sues-for-400k-over-rat-claim/

The common area fee’s on these new highrise bldg’s are astro-freaking-nomical……usually locked into multi year contracts with the developer……I’ve seen the builders son and daughter act in on this scam. ‘Tenant’s…excuse me….’owners’ are paying up to a buck a square foot for ‘mamagement’…….all on top of utilities and taxes. 1000 sq ft….$1000 per month !!

Can someone please tell me ….where does the ‘maintenance’ money go? It doesn’t pile up in the sinking fund….it doesn’t cost a zillion dollars a month to clean and maintain a residential tower……so…real estate dawgs………any body want to expose this scam?

#60 Victor on 03.04.12 at 9:35 pm

Champagne dreams with a chaser of realism

Published Friday, Mar. 02, 2012 5:30PM EST

Back down on earth, George is 23, recently graduated from university and has just landed his first “real” job earning $35,000 a year plus bonus and other benefits. He lives with his mother in a townhouse in the Guelph area that they plan to flip for a $60,000 profit. He wonders how best to use his share of the anticipated gain.

George’s big dream is to open his own wine bar. He aims to save $70,000 over the next 10 years as a down payment and wonders whether that will be enough to enable him to get the financing he will need. To get a leg up given his modest income, he is looking to speculate in real estate.

“Since I want to open a wine bar one day, I figured house-flipping was one way to jump-start a savings plan at the beginning of my career, when the money is still tight,” he writes in an e-mail. Mind you, that $60,000 profit he and his mother expect has yet to be realized, and they’d need at least half of it as a down payment to buy a bigger, better home.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/financial-facelift/champagne-dreams-with-a-chaser-of-realism/article2357155/

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

To be young and so very naive. Sigh…

#61 City Slicker on 03.04.12 at 9:45 pm

Why in the world would they build a condo when another one beside went into receivership in 2009?
Isn’t that just asking for trouble, or bubble ;)

#62 Realtors in a panic on 03.04.12 at 9:52 pm

Realtors continue with their propaganda tactics to fool the last few idiots who got liar loans to buy now. There is an epidemic of these liar loans to the point the Canadian government is going to put a stop to it. The market will crash so hard now that money/ credit is getting harder to get. Realtors now are in a panic for any sales as they know once the crash become obvious to everyone their good life will be over.

#63 Island girl on 03.04.12 at 9:53 pm

Too funny about the condos in cowtown, we lived up the hill from the arriva towers and what started out as 4 towers (supposed to be the tallest) dwindled down to two and then the developer ran out of money. Half the site sat as a giant mess with residents in the first two towers living next to a giant hole.

#64 Mr. LEE on 03.04.12 at 9:58 pm

#51 DM in C:

Agree with you fully, we live in the burbs in the SE and seen the houses (plural) done the road in the cul-de-sac do the yo yo listing dance.

Calgary is great place to live, just would have to get employed pouring coffee or bagging the staples, cost of living too high for that sort of work.

PS

What is the latest on F killing the 30 year?

#65 First to last on 03.04.12 at 9:59 pm

A friend from Slovakia put it pretty good tonight, we weren’t talking real estate but it just hit me as on the mark funny. “You go to the grocery store and there are different prices for different brands of eggs”. You really do get what you pay for only some people are much dumber than others. Greater fools you could say

#66 Comrade-Conrad on 03.04.12 at 10:13 pm

Well just finished getting settled in our new home. Renting has provided more home for the buck!

Read 2200 engineers have been laid off from Calgary based oil patch jobs over the last couple off the and that demand for foreign based oil patch jobs has increased dramatically.

All quiet on the western front!

The calm before the storm.

#67 WestcoastEuvie on 03.04.12 at 10:20 pm

I am stumped. Agree for the most part with what Garth says (nobody gets 100% all of the time, sorry G), and here in ‘Nut Grove (aka “Pleasantville” aka “The Bubble”) Walnut Grove, Langley BC, 27 year old brass’d-‘n-glassed houses with three (count ‘em…THREE) different types of floral wallpaper (non-matching, by the way)…(and in the same bathroom)…(and who in their right mind puts wallpaper in a bathroom?!? I digress…) are going like this Friday’s Lotto Max winning number. What gives?? The commute to DT Van is 1:15 best case scenario (read: stat holiday, no bridge construction), while we have amazing CDS neighborhoods with kick-a** impromptu street hockey games…houses that are in dire need of updating and new roofs are going for 500K, 550K, 590K…????? A realtor I know has sold his house and is trying to find a house to rent (family of 4), which is interesting. He says the market is too hot to buy right now…I just don’t get it and am stumped…what on earth happened to reasoning, sound judgement and plain old common sense? The numbers just. don’t. make. sense. Any way you run then, and I am a master at making numbers say what I want them to say!

What on earth is going on in this part of the world G, any insight?

#68 Arshes on 03.04.12 at 10:21 pm

#15 Freedom 55

I think you may have missed this part in the link you provided, when it comes to the drop of a bond value:

(This matters only if the holder of the bond wants to sell it in the open market; if he or she wants to keep the bond to maturity, the price fluctuations exist only on paper.)

#69 Lawyer Guy on 03.04.12 at 10:24 pm

Guys
There’s a nice comparison of the Canadian and Aussie housing bubbles here:

http://bit.ly/xZ7fdp

It’s hard to tell whose is worse.

#70 Mister Obvious on 03.04.12 at 10:30 pm

#61 City Slicker

“Why in the world would they build a condo when another one beside went into receivership in 2009?”
——————

Frenzied construction continues on thousands of ugly condo boxes a mere stone’s throw from Vancouver’s failed Olympic Village (or whatever they’re calling it now… “Village Up The Creek”, I think).

This is simply a fascinating time to be alive.

#71 bubble head on 03.04.12 at 10:31 pm

interesting article states toronto condo peaked in 2011

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/02/move-over-toronto-calgarys-condo-market-about-to-take-off-in-2012/

#72 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.04.12 at 10:51 pm

-
“Realtor stalkers. One reporter, for the breathless Sun, rushed back and wrote a story [Pump 'n' Dump]. The frenzy had been largely manufactured. But don’t let that deter anyone. This is the stuff all good economists quantify.”

Yes, but how many economists are in positions of authority in the federal government?

Harper (obviously) is not an economist, ‘tho he may have trained as one. Then again, a person can train a parakeet to do tricks, which speaks volumes for Harper’s vanity-based leadership.

“. . . it’ll be the tallest residential pointy thing sticking out of the dirt . . .” — Don’t you mean a Pointed Stick?

“. . . now officially called ‘The Harper Government’ . . .” — egogoon – Gruntsville clearly fits that image.

“Yes, everything is completely normal.” — This is accompanied with #18 bridgepigeon — “The trouble with normal is it always gets worse…..Bruce Cockburn”.

Pray tell, is everything completely normal or is bridgepigeon’s quote correct? I cannot imagine anything more desolate than being normal. There is far more excitement watching grass grow in January than being normal.
*
#228 TurnerNation on 03.04.12 at 2:06 pm — “1. Auto jobs booming in USA. $15/hr to start, no unions.” — Except that inflation and hidden inflation has more or less made $15/hr. minimum wage to get by on basics.

#229 TurnerNation on 03.04.12 at 2:15 pm — “. . . look what we did. Sleep well! “We know he has WMD!?!” — Aha! You do have beautiful thighs and my nipples explode with delight! Another one who has seen the light!

#208 egogoon – Gruntsville on 03.04.12 at 10:27 am said “Harper will do what’s good for the country . . .” — Of course he’s going to do what’s good for him and his cronies, but screw the country and its citizens. The end result is that we won’t even recognize this country by the time he is finished with it.

For further clarification, see #250 jess on 03.04.12 at 6:40 pm and then understand why Oharperbomba’s plans are moving along quite nicely.

Both of them (and their parties) should be arrested and charged with treason, then tossed into Dimona and have the structure implode, so there is no radiation fallout for the rest of us. They can choke on their own vomit, and won’t be missed at all.

#248 Form Man on 03.04.12 at 5:45 pm — “. . . that a mix of goodpaying middle class jobs is what helps stabilize and grow an economy. A zealous drive to keep wages down ( while extending credit ) finally ends with folks having no surplus to spend.” — See preceding notes to Turnernation. The high paying union jobs, which some seem to detest, help keep a town or city’s economy humming along nicely, as they have plenty of money to spend.

However, low wages has the opposite effect, with people tending to count their pennies and only buying the necessities.

#31 TaxHaven — “The only jobs seem to be in Tim Horton’s-type work – People on fixed incomes are getting crushed.” — See notes to Turnernation and Form Man above, and know that Oharperbomba’s and Soros’ plans are working well, to the detriment of ordinary citizens.

#63 Island girl and #69 Mister Obvious — “Frenzied construction continues . . .” — Same in Kelowna, ‘tho it has slowed in the Okanagan. The Conservatory, half built for almost a decade, should be rental units in the not too distant future.

#73 Terry Michaels on 03.04.12 at 10:54 pm

Leith van Onselen has interesting comparison between the Canadian and Australian housing bubbles:
http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2012/03/australian-vs-canadian-property-by-leith-van-onselen/

#74 Aizlynne on 03.04.12 at 10:58 pm

Calgary has fewer gay people compared to where Garth?? I wish you would stop perpetuating this myth that Calgarian’s are knuckle dragging apes. Do you forget that most Calgarian’s are implants from Ontario like me??

Clearly an impostor. Ontarians know how to pluralize. — Garth

#75 Pr on 03.04.12 at 11:00 pm

…Yes, everything is completely normal.
lol!!! Just so funny!! I am going to bed laughing!

#76 TaxHaven on 03.04.12 at 11:18 pm

#55 eaglebay – Parksville,

NOT Victoria…I’m in Port Alberni. Definitely Vancouver Island.

#71 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad,

I don’t think you understand. Wages HAVE to come down if living standards are to reach a point commensurate with Canadians’ awful productivity level. Do we want to be competitive on the world stage or not? The problem is that many – with the connivance of governments and their central banks – are trying to sustain consumption with DEBT. They’re praying that growth (REAL, not GDP-denominated or nominal) will return. It won’t, not for a LONG TIME.

My worry is that everyone here is yammering on about housing in isolation, with no understanding of the macroeconomic problems we face or the ridiculous house-of-cards Potemkin Canadian economy…

#77 NFN_NLN on 03.04.12 at 11:24 pm

#59 truth hammer on 03.04.12 at 9:34 pm

The common area fee’s on these new highrise bldg’s are astro-freaking-nomical……usually locked into multi year contracts with the developer……I’ve seen the builders son and daughter act in on this scam. ‘Tenant’s…excuse me….’owners’ are paying up to a buck a square foot for ‘mamagement’…….all on top of utilities and taxes. 1000 sq ft….$1000 per month !!

Can someone please tell me ….where does the ‘maintenance’ money go? It doesn’t pile up in the sinking fund….it doesn’t cost a zillion dollars a month to clean and maintain a residential tower……so…real estate dawgs………any body want to expose this scam?

I don’t live in TO but I once seen a listing that had condo fees as well as parking lot maintenance fees of $100/month.

Really? $100/month to maintain a parking space? Do they repaint the yellow lines every month?

#78 U-The Man on 03.04.12 at 11:30 pm

The picture:
Replace the dog with the koran and you would have riots in the streets of the GTA all calling for the head of Garth. Alas Christians can take the humour at face value and Garth is safe.

It’s religious? I was trying to provoke the Boston Terrierists. — Garth

#79 Canadian Watchdog on 03.04.12 at 11:32 pm

Charts:

Alberta Residential Mortgage Credit http://i44.tinypic.com/2llc9oo.png

Alberta Interprovincial Net Migrants http://i44.tinypic.com/35hmzdj.png

#80 Sky on 03.04.12 at 11:41 pm

That pup is sacreligious. I thought everybody knew that J was a Border Collie.

Following, is a brief story – a story that resonates with the deadly USA tornadoes – of an army chaplain who understood what this world is about :

http://everything2.com/node/1281301?like_id=1281337&op=ilikeit

** Spoiler Alert **

While doing recovery work in the tragic aftermath of a hurricane in Costa Rica, God’s unconditional love and mercy was called into question.

Here was the chaplains’s conclusion:

“In my mind’s eye I see the chaplain in his sweaty, sleeveless, green cotton shirt. His crucifix chain intertwined with his steel dog tags around his wet skin. He’s holding the cross out toward his comrade in arms.

He tells him that cross is an icon of this place. It’s an icon of the earth, a warning sign tacked up to the gates to strike fear into the hearts of the weak and the brave alike.

He says that none of us know what this place is, but it sure as hell isn’t heaven. God himself couldn’t survive here. He was nailed to a tree and suffocated in his own blood.

What made any of us think we could possibly be worthy of better treatment?

And in light of the terrible inevitability of our personal terminus everything was laid bare except our souls and our beating hearts. All of the bills, and the arguments, and the engine trouble, and asshole bosses were meaningless. We live continuously in the midst of the nuclear explosion of our own deaths.

In that hideous, brilliant light there is only one thing brighter, one thing true.

Expect no mercy. Love each other. Take care of each other.

We have been given to each other.

In this place we are all we have. “

#81 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.04.12 at 11:44 pm

#73 Aizlynne on 03.04.12 at 10:58 pm
“Calgary has fewer gay people compared to where Garth?? I wish you would stop perpetuating this myth that Calgarian’s are knuckle dragging apes. Do you forget that most Calgarian’s are implants from Ontario like me??”
……….
Most Calgarians are from all over Canada.
Toronto has its fair share of gays next to Vancouver.
When you say implants from Debtario, you probably mean Toronto. Toronto is not Ontario.

#82 FTP - First Time Poster on 03.04.12 at 11:55 pm

My sweetheart SIL and DB BIL bought a home in the lower mainland for $460K. Better value than what they would have got here in AB – 2000sq ft, outdoor pool, etc. Only clincher is that this is their second home – first one is rented out as it couldn’t be sold, so here they sit about $700K in the hole – she’s an EIT and he’s RCMP. So they’re only about 5-6x income with 100% exposure to RE. Makes me shake my head. To quote you Garth – this will not end well!

#83 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.04.12 at 11:57 pm

#75 TaxHaven on 03.04.12 at 11:18 pm
#55 eaglebay – Parksville,
“NOT Victoria…I’m in Port Alberni. Definitely Vancouver Island.”
……….
Sorry, wrong guess.
Actually Port Alberni is doing pretty good.
Forestry, fishing, tourism, agriculture, retirement and relevant services and prospecting are where it’s at.
2 new refurbished McDonalds and RV and marine sales doing quite nicely.
The majors like Canadian Tire, Walmart, Extrafood, Boston Pizza and the car dealerships are doing great.
They also have small boat builders, a large mill and a native settlement just outside town.
Port Alberni is doing great.

#84 Snowboid on 03.05.12 at 12:02 am

#75 TaxHaven on 03.04.12 at 11:18 pm…

Do you remember how in the 1980s, the federal and provincial governments encouraged outside corporate investment? The catchphrase of the time was “…all the capital improvements this would provide to grow productivity…”

Of course, these non-Canadian corporations did grow (their profits), and spent none of it on capital improvements – and nothing has changed. The profits get sucked out, and the workers get to work with 30 year old equipment!

Even the Conference Board of Canada studied the issue and concluded the focus on ‘labour productivity’ wasn’t the problem – it was the lack of M&E (machinery and equipment) investments that are holding back productivity in Canada.

And by the way, Nostie is 100% correct. Continual attacks on workers, union or otherwise, who are making decent wages, will result in a sad reality becoming apparent. If wages HAVE to come down, it is the entire economy that suffers.

Who will you blame then? I suggest reading a few Dickens’ novels before you answer that.

#85 great on 03.05.12 at 12:13 am

Really interesting is all the sport behind real estate and the games involved. I cannot imagine why all of a sudden homes in 416 have become grounds for bidding wars. What changed? I have been following this blog for 3 years and have had read the same message time after time. Prices will fall, bidding wars are the end, and so on. None of this has happened anywhere. Show me evidence of a correction. I think it takes time for a shift in paradigm and we aren’t close yet.

#86 Ozy - This greedy city allows building way way TOO many condos on 03.05.12 at 12:24 am

Tax greedy city allows building way TOO many condos, it’s an outrage, and they are so damn ugly (most of them, but not all, like 9 out of 10) – just drive on Sheppard East from Yonge to Bayview, Leslie, Don Mills, Victoria Park. Same story on any other major boulevard, be Bathurst or Wilson…

You will be scared how many ugly projects are in works or were recently completed. Some were erected just in front of existing uglier rental buildings until like the ones across fairview mall…

Is there anyone competent left at city hall to stop this distruction of the larger City of Toronto?

I wish there was no amalgamation and North York retained its major.
And where are the $$$ from new tax on all of these condo units? Why is property tax not reduced 20% if we are to put with congestion and parking problems due to this abused density-fication?

Stop the madness! Values can’t be supported and you won’t collect any tax from hundreds of bankrupt builders and hundred of thousands of bankrupt new condo-owners.

#87 jobsguy on 03.05.12 at 12:27 am

jobs are way more important than interest rates when it comes to home purchases. If unemployment becomes a problem then housing market will be affected. Interest rates just fool people that have jobs but really can’t afford a home a reason to buy.

#88 Al on 03.05.12 at 12:28 am

Parking spots at the condo building at 99 Harbour Sq. started at 20,000 to 30,000 per-construction in 1987, but the remaining inventory sold for $6,000 each in 2002.

#89 Vladimir Putin on 03.05.12 at 12:29 am

Let me get this straight… There are bidding wars going on in the GTA on almost every sale and realtors are stalking sellers offering them more money, yet you present this as proof that… the market is crashing? Maybe in Calgary, but not in the GTA, there are just too many people moving there to allow a crash.

Where did I say GTA ‘crash’? — Garth

#90 TaxHaven on 03.05.12 at 12:30 am

#82 Snowboid,

I just go by what I see with my own eyes. Canada’s economic “health” is skin-deep.

If interest rates in Canada return to market-determined levels,

If BoC has to stop propping up lenders and the housing market,

If governments, faced with austerity, are forced to cut and balance their budgets,

or if interest payable on government bonds soars…

…then we will see who’s been swimming naked, as they say.

We’ll see which businesses can swim without access to cheap credit. Which salaries are justifiable as consumption plunges. We’ll learn what houses WOULD cost if buyers needed to put 40%, 50% or more down.

Then we’ll understand the difference between today’s house PRICES and real house VALUE.

We’ll see just how “productive” Canada’s massive, bloated and expensive public sector is and we’ll watch it shrink.

We’ll watch as unemployment soars. Many Canadian businesses – poodle groomers, Starbuck’s, FutureShop, furniture stores, pizza chains, GM truck dealerships, motorhome sales, eco-tourism, real estate agencies and lots more – depend on debt-fueled consumption.

Perhaps 30% of the economy or more. They don’t sell potatoes, milk and spaghetti sauce; they sell stuff big spenders buy…

I lived 22 years in East Asia and I can tell you that Canadian salaries are WAY out of line. Unless our customers – overseas – are willing to pay prices for the few goods we do export high enough to sustain such labour costs, well then cuts and layoffs – OR fewer and fewer ‘good’ jobs – are unavoidable.

#91 TRT on 03.05.12 at 12:36 am

Delusional posters….

So people buying $700,000 houses or condos are greaterfools? Hardly! Rents are rising as condos and houses for rent fill up.

Surrey’s tallest condos recently built are full of renters/owners already. Demand for space is there otherwise most units would be empty. Townhouses in recently built areas are all full as well.

Figure it out and don’t appear to look so bewildered year after year.

…and word in the hallways in political circles is the CMHC ceiling WILL be raised. So much for that wishful thinking.

#92 Snowboid on 03.05.12 at 12:49 am

#90 TaxHaven on 03.05.12 at 12:30 am…

Your story changed from your reply to Nostie, not sure if any content was related to my comments about worker productivity. Oh, except for the slag on public workers – getting kind of lame, hearing the same BS for 39 years now.

While I agree that prices are high in Canada, I wouldn’t permanently emigrate full-time anywhere. I love Canada, just hate the cold and snow.

Why don’t you stay in Asia full-time (or do you), the lifestyle sounds fantastic!

#93 Canadian Watchdog on 03.05.12 at 12:59 am

#88 TaxHaven

I urge you and everyone else to watch this video explaining why rates can’t go up and why central bank lending will not stop without a dire outcome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKsZ1hqHBHU

Canadian banks run on the same system and have levered themselves (with everybody’s money) to this amount http://i42.tinypic.com/qnnthy.png That’s T for trillions.

#94 terces on 03.05.12 at 1:04 am

Here’s a chart showing a prediction for the time it will take for various Canadian Cities to hit bottom.

http://worldhousingbubble.blogspot.com/p/canadian-housing-bubble-house-price.html

#95 Chris scott on 03.05.12 at 1:11 am

@#14 Freedom 55 on
“Screw the bond”

That’s what I thought in 2010 as I loaded up on pure equities only to lose all the profits in 2011, back to square 1 and now I pay a financial advisor.

#96 Peterfromcalgary on 03.05.12 at 1:20 am

Before investing in a Condo check out this guy

Video link

http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/bellavera+condo+developer+speaks+out+to+global+news/6442592662/story.html

Text link

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Developer+takes+blame+condo+disaster/6239284/story.html

#97 Jsan on 03.05.12 at 1:23 am

I guess this is what happens when you have a country full of consumers as rabid as Canadians when it comes to buying extremely overpriced houses and spending their hard earn……errrr, borrowed money as fast as they can.

“Australia Services Index Plunges to Significant Contraction; Bleakest of Views From Retail Shops; Retail and Housing Bloodbath Coming Up”

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/03/australia-services-index-plunges-to.html

#98 Devore on 03.05.12 at 1:37 am

#14 Freedom 55

When interest rates rise, the prices of outstanding bonds fall; when rates fall, prices rise.

Cause and effect, please use in correct order.

#99 monte in van on 03.05.12 at 1:51 am

To “s” (#28),
Although there are still houses selling, you must notice that things are cooling off. I live in a “hot” neighbourhood on the westside where houses normally sell after 1 open house in a bidding war. There are 3 houses for sale on my street alone and only 1 has sold. The first opens were busy and now they are dead and they have an open every weekend. the brand new house has been for sale for months and the price has dropped $400k. Everyday I get a list of all the new listings and the price changes: everyday the first 3-7 listings are “price reduced”. And checkout the “listings vs sold” graph on the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board’s website: the listings in January sky-rocketed and the sales were dead. Don’t get me wrong, I know houses are still selling (and for insane amounts of money) but things are really cooling down. So happy to be renting in Van!

#100 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.05.12 at 1:58 am

-
#75 TaxHaven and #83 Snowboid — You both have valid points. Having worked in both union and non-union printing plants, I can say they used to be identical with wage and benefit structures.

However, new technology has given the boot to most, if not all composing rooms and those are the workers who have lost the most, whether union or not.

TaxHaven is right with this — “They’re praying that growth (REAL, not GDP-denominated or nominal) will return. It won’t, not for a LONG TIME.”

Real growth is gonzo, which means wages must decline to the mid-teen levels, hence union busting in the west. A singleton can survive on that, but not a family. Further — Blacklists. Artificial, or govt. doublespeak continues regularly, and we continue to believe their drivel.
*
JFK had it right; 3:41 clip IMF promotes one world currency and govt. (not a chance in hell), and Crackdown Who controls the IMF? At least the Egyptians are keeping the noise up; Cash-strapped Brits.; Financial Crisis? “And the most profitable business on the planet is “War”; 3:23 clip Stages; John Mauldin Trash in, trash out; Worrying about money is not worth the time and effort; Pensions Who is footing the bill? Oz bloodbath; Further reading Lotsa links; Oil and Stock Prices; Europe’s auto industry is sliding; War Profits Top 10 companies.
*
Heart Disease Google took the first link out, but someone had saved it and reposted it on wrh.com (the causes of); Rogue Asteroid Expect the unexpected; Obomba More cheap rhetoric, and Iranian Elections “Dictators afraid of Iran self-determination?”; Russia receiving long-range fighters. Think they’re preparing for a scrap? GM Food Labeling So consumers can pass on by Monsanto’s garbage; Firefox users Nice add on; US Imperialism A voice from the past which is dying; The Fracking Business with the Koch Bros.; Ponder Prez. Jeb Bush (link in); The Sun is still unsure of what to do; Killing FB Guglle and Microslop will take care of that.

#101 mac on 03.05.12 at 2:03 am

Mark #56,

You bringing up the Obama birther issue is brilliant. But not for the reasons you think. There’s an S&P Birther Index that shows every time the US economy is demonstrating positive signs, the birther issue gets mentioned more frequently in the US media. Apparently, the math behind the index holds true.

Here’s the article and the Index:

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/03/birther-economic-index/

I guess the US economy is recovering after all!

#102 Fabrega on 03.05.12 at 2:27 am

#41 T.O. Bubble Boy
“Everyone should note:
Garth is talking about actual bonds, not Bond ETFs.

IMO, bond ETFs are riskier at the moment, given that they never mature and give you back your money.”

What’s wrong with bond ETF’s? What do you mean never give back your money?????

#103 zuluct on 03.05.12 at 2:30 am

“When we look at Alberta, and in particular Calgary… you’ve got vacancy rates that are plummeting and that all points to a strong real estate market.”

I live in the London condos in the Calgary. There are 130+ unsold units in Phase 2. The owners here are in an uproar, because the developer converted 30 of those units to permanent rentals not long ago (you can see a big drop in the Calgary inventory from this conversion). The Sales Center was converted into a Leasing Office. They haven’t said much about the other 100 units yet, but everyone knows the developer is bleeding cash, and the writing’s on the wall.

Sure sounds like a healthy market to me.

P.S. Who cares how tall a condo tower is? If you live on the 4th floor, the view is the same regardless of how many people live above you. If you live on the top… well, I hope your fire alarm doesn’t go off that often…

#104 new-era on 03.05.12 at 3:31 am

HAM is really BAM on 03.04.12 at 9:33 pm

Was out with my mortgage buddy and his mortgage friends and boy do they have stories to tell you. I was asking what they thought of HAM and they couldn’t stop laughing. The call HAM Borrowed Asian money. They explained to me that Asians are crazy gamblers who goto mortgage brokers where the broker works their liar loan and just like magic BAM is mistaken for HAM. Yes some are real HAM but those numbers are small. Now that lair loans are no more the mortgage brokers are saying the housing crash is 100%.
==================================

I believe the percentage of real HAM is less than 3%.
In an late night interview with a guy from CREA, they mention the actual number of real HAM was quite low.

Its Canadians buying canadian and leveraging thats causing the rise.

#105 Debtfree on 03.05.12 at 4:07 am

@ eagle bay from yesterday boo

#106 Waterloo Resident on 03.05.12 at 4:11 am

I totally agree that Alberta is the place to move to for big bucks !
I found a job for a Well Equipment Operator that pays $2,800 per month, that’s $33,600 per year, can you believe that, wow, you’re just rolling in cash now !
Everybody: if you are not happy earning $22,000/yr in minimum wage jobs in Ontario, then rush to get these high-pay $33,000/yr jobs before they are gone !

#107 Crash Callaway on 03.05.12 at 5:13 am

Realtors stalking Realtors to get em to take more money.
What’s next?
ROBO BIDS

#108 betamax on 03.05.12 at 6:16 am

#83 eaglebay – Parksville: Actually Port Alberni is doing pretty good…They also have small boat builders, a large mill and a native settlement…Port Alberni is doing great.”

Gosh, I’m sure you know more about it than the guy who actually lives there; tell him some more how great everything is. Oddly, I know someone who’s been living there for 40+ yrs and would agree with the other poster.

Too bad the mill is running at less than 30% capacity, but maybe the small boat builders and the native settlement will provide adequate industry to support the economy when consumers stop binging on cheap debt and blowing more than they earn. Maybe.

#109 Canadian jobs going to the US on 03.05.12 at 8:06 am

People are living on debt and many sellers today are selling since they can not afford their monthly payments. Job losses are increasing and credit is being reduced as bankers fear huge write downs. It’s going to be a nasty crash. Those lucky to get out will laugh. Uncle still can not sell north York home. The market is crashing despite realtor lies.

#110 GregW, Oakville on 03.05.12 at 8:16 am

Hi #78 Garth, re: pic.
I thought you liked dogs?
re: provoke the Boston T…, could the T… be replaced with the “1773 Boston Tea Party” types?
I guess it won’t be much longer until we see what F has in store for us all, with his horns and all. I hope you had on protective gloves when you petted him on the head.
I wonder if he has more income trust blacked out documents ready to show us, as proff?
F sure seems to have a way of pilling up det. First for Ontario now Canada. Maybe that is why H gang picked him?

#111 House on 03.05.12 at 8:19 am

Your behind the times again, its now the Illegitimate Harper Government

#112 Kaganovich on 03.05.12 at 8:37 am

Here is an interesting article on the hurdles being encountered by China as they attempt to continue growing:
http://theautomaticearth.org/Finance/is-china-just-another-debt-addict.html

With less and less markets able to consume what they create/build/assemble, the Chinese economy will face strong headwinds if they continue to pursue the export growth model that has led them to this point. Besides, as the author clearly articulates, there is a good chance that China is much more hamstrung by debt than what many are led to believe by the msm. Expect more riots.

#113 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.05.12 at 8:46 am

@ #102 Fabrega:

My point is: a bond has a maturity date where you get the original investment back. A bond ETF is constantly buying new bonds as holdings mature.

With a bond ETF, if the underlying bonds lose value (say, because interest rates rise), you can’t just “wait it out” and get the principal back at the maturity date.

I’m not saying that a bond ETF would go to zero or anything even close to that – only that you don’t have all of the options in terms of cashing out your investment.

#114 TurnerNation on 03.05.12 at 8:49 am

This mortgage release is pap, a scrap for the masses. Now watch as they drop the hammer. It’s all a game to them. Hoodwinking us. They laugh, as they jet about in private jets.

#115 Kevin on 03.05.12 at 8:50 am

“It’s been months since developers rented people to sit in front of a sales centre”

Has it ever been proven that that was in fact the case?

My understanding was that some people were hired to be “placeholders” in line for buyers who couldn’t afford to take the 2 days off work to wait in line themselves.

#116 TurnerNation on 03.05.12 at 9:10 am

Appears Russia will suffer another term under the brutal regime leader – ex-KGB head, thug – Putin. How long until Harpo pledges his ties to this country…

#117 Incubus on 03.05.12 at 9:18 am

Warren Buffett

“‘What the wise man does in the beginning, the fool does in the end”

#118 MissPriss on 03.05.12 at 9:18 am

In January I looked at a ‘steal of a deal’ townhouse in a newer southeast community in Calgary. It was listed for 235k and was previously a rental. It had been listed three times in 2011, each listing price decreasing substantially. The seller was into it at 269k.
This month, same complex a few TH’s down from that one is another listed at 229k.
IF I had bought that first ‘deal’ in four short weeks I would have already lost 6k?
The media can say whatever it wants, the reality is different. Houses aren’t selling like they were. Ppl thought (think) their houses are ATM’s and always sure to go up in value.
I have many other similiar stories.
A friend wants to list his condo out of serious concern that he will be stuck with it if he can’t get out of it in the next couple months. He would list for what he bought it for three years ago. How is this a ‘hot’ market?? Other condos in the building are listed for less and have not moved in months.

#119 NoName on 03.05.12 at 9:22 am

It not new thing brafirst.ca , but its first time for me to hear it advertised on radio. Just minutes ago on 1010am, Toronto

#120 Raging Ranter on 03.05.12 at 9:23 am

Snowboid, the Conference Board also concluded that foreign-owned corporations had a higher rate of capital investment in Canada than domestic firms did. It’s not foreign capital that’s draining our productivity, it’s sluggish, unimaginative Canadian companies refusing to make capital investments themselves.

#121 TurnerNation on 03.05.12 at 9:39 am

Fellow Blog Dogs: do me a favour.

If anyone you know suggests they are losing $ on real estate, or is underwater, immediately reply with:

– But real estate always goes up.

If their reply is “No it doesn’t”, then your next reply should be:

Renting is throwing your money away.

See what they say. We must fight fire with fire.

#122 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.05.12 at 9:45 am

More jobs for Canadians.
Shortage of skilled labour even in Waterloo.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/c-suite-surveys/business-leaders-cite-skilled-labour-shortage-as-priority/article2358388/

#123 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.05.12 at 9:54 am

Labour shortage, people skills and the failure of our
education system.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/mind-the-gap-no-people-skills-no-job/article2356864/

#124 Stevenson on 03.05.12 at 10:17 am

North Toronto? That’s probably not even anywhere close to the core. On top of that there is a bidding war for houses? What happened to the slow down in RE? Spring is on its way and its looking gooood. Mmm… someone of you will have to eat your words. Tasty.

#125 fancy_pants on 03.05.12 at 10:18 am

Boy, society really dry-humped the hell out of the housing market the last decade. And here I thought we were about done. Sounds like there are still some looking to get stiffed.

How dark is the future of housing when our shelters are being played like a 2-bit trick on the streets of Toronto?

Bravo F & co for the giant RE orgy.

#126 Uh Oh Canada on 03.05.12 at 10:44 am

As an ex-Vancouverite, I’d like to share some amusing stories of the “Best place on Earth” and their ‘better than thou’ mentality.

Before coming to the East, I thought it was normal to pay over $5 for a small burnt tasting coffee and a muffin. I’ve been back to Vancouver seven times (once each year) and I’ve noticed how the few Tim Hortons they do have are usually empty and the Starbucks are full. Before I discovered Tim Hortons and their brown water disguised as coffee, I thought Starbucks’ prices were normal.

A friend of mine sat in on a conversation with young parents discussing baby diaper bags. They each owned this amazing diaper bag that the celebrities were toting. At only $250, it was a deal to be had!

A family member used to work at Vancity. After a few years there, she is convinced that 50% of the money in Vancouver comes from drugs and gang related activities. There were just too many people bringing in wads of cash.

And there you go. Now can you understand why a dingy crack shack would be worth a million dollars out west? Maybe their coffee is tinted with something that makes the people in BC delusional- that is the only theory I have.

#127 So Roney on 03.05.12 at 10:50 am

Why are you all hating on the Asians? Instead of generalising them with an acronym, why don’t you try and do what they’re doing? I’ll say this about them, their a patient bunch of people. They don’t rush into anything. Now turn that slightly prejudice frown, upside down, walk into your local bank and get yourself a mortgage! “Neehow! Me rike a house!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdug6yHJB40

#128 Ret on 03.05.12 at 10:57 am

HAM
BAM
SCAM
SCRAM

The government has stopped liar loans? Oh, and when was that? Condo line ups and bidding wars would appear to indicate otherwise.

Look at the young age of the two people in the picture today. The other people, facing away, look like street people. May they all be offered multiple units and mortgages backed by CMHC!

#129 Brad In SEA!!! on 03.05.12 at 11:08 am

@17 James F
This is Brad in Van from Vancouver. My wife, children, and I lived in the USA before. We absolutely loved every minute of it. We are in the process of moving back. This time we WON’T be coming back to Vancouver or even Canada for the matter. I totally get where your coming from. We are moving two and a half hours South to Seattle at the end of March. Believe me when I say there is zero comparison between Seattle and here. Seattle wins hands down in any category. Nevermind what ignorant fellow Canadians say for your move to the USA for the know not what they speak. We Canadians are so brainwashed and only get one side of an already warped argument but we don’t even know it. This reason alone is why Americans tolerate us because we simply don’t know any better. We’ve been trained to think we know better than they but the joke is on us. They know it but we don’t. Before we go running our snotty little mouths to an American again to exert our superior knowledge on any subject matter you better stop and think to yourself that American is laughing on the inside at most of the b.s. we are saying. We should be embarrassed. Our national pride gets in the way of really understanding just how little we really do know and how little would be without them. In fact I hear they think we are ‘cute’. For anyone who doeasnt know that means Americans find Canadians to be really kept in the dark… and after livin in the USA I can honestly say we are. Know what? The reality is Americans are far more polite and progressive than Canadians.. they would never tell you this because they would be concerned with hurting our feelings. We hold our noses up at them and for what? We truly are living over a decade in the past when compared to Americans so our perspective is incredibly dated and we have no idea. We aren’t the progressive one’s. Its the Americans who lead the globe and always will in our lifetime and the next and the next. Anyone hoping for the USA to fail is the greatest fool of all. I pity them actually for being so naive and stupid. James F, if I were you I would take Garth’s advice and stay right where you are in the USA. You are going to thank him for it. Canada has peaked and is dropping into the rubble while Americans are rebuilding and finding ways to be more creative and innovative than ever. We are NOT creative or innovative, especially in difficult times. We constantly look to the South and ride the Americans coat tails in all ways, hence why Americans will privately refer to us as the ’51st State’. Of course our bought and paid for media would never allow for us Canadians to know this, hence why we really are devoid of all the facts. We have been brainwashed into sublime stupidity and we don’t even know it.

#130 Tyler on 03.05.12 at 11:16 am

Mantella Corp recently plowed over an old gym in my neighbourhood…. were going to put up 3 condo towers for a total of 1400 units…. couldn’t get the buyers, and the negative feedback from the neighbourhood was tremendous. They will now build 250 row townhomes instead…. but yeah, TO’s condo market is booming!

#131 debtified on 03.05.12 at 11:16 am

Just in case you haven’t heard: “Realtors expect home prices to fall” – CBC

http://tinyurl.com/DidYouHearThatSound

#132 blase on 03.05.12 at 11:28 am

The Guardian? What a stupid name for a condo building, or any building for that matter.

#133 cxcroney on 03.05.12 at 11:30 am

#123 Eagleboy Parksville.
“school graduates with lack of people skills”

Were you looking in a mirror while you were typing in your two cents worth. If so, no offense taken. If not, get yourself a mirror, and use it.

#134 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.05.12 at 11:32 am

#129 Brad In SEA!!! on 03.05.12 at 11:08 am

With enough Canadians like you moving to the US they are doomed.
Why are there so many Americans moving to Canada?
Good luck in Hispanic land.

#135 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.05.12 at 11:36 am

#133 cxcroney on 03.05.12 at 11:30 am

You would know big girl.
You fit right into the mold.

#136 Sky on 03.05.12 at 11:39 am

@ Brad in SEA – I take it you aren’t a person of color… or you might have toned down your American cheerleading just a tad.

Snippet:

“US imprisonment rates are much higher than the rest of the world, and within the US, African Americans are imprisoned at least eight times as often as European Americans…”

“These astronomical incarceration rates have huge social and economic consequences for black women, black children, and black communities. They are not a legacy of Jim Crow, but are a result of policies implemented since the mid-1970s which created exponential growth in incarceration between 1975 and 2000. This growth was not due to growing crime rates, but to greater use of incarceration for lesser offenses and drug offenses.”

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~oliver/RACIAL/RacialDisparities.htm

#137 Kevin on 03.05.12 at 11:39 am

With reporting that like, it looks like some entities in Alberta are trying to re-inflate the bubble.

Here is a graph of Year over Year Change in Alberta Mortgage Debt Held By Chartered Banks
http://tinyurl.com/77wz3fg

Notice the explosion in mortgage debt growth starting in 2006. Same time house prices were launched skyward in Calgary and Edmonton.

http://tinyurl.com/7js52cp

It should be noted that chartered Banks don’t hold all residential debt but they do hold the majority.

#138 Snowboid on 03.05.12 at 11:40 am

#120 Raging Ranter on 03.05.12 at 9:23 am…

I agree that Canadian companies that have only domestic sales are worst in capital investment, but second worst are Canadian subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies.

Of course the best are the Canadian-owned multinationals.

My point was to correct the idea that workers alone were responsible for the lower level of productivity in Canada.

#139 Victoria on 03.05.12 at 11:42 am

brad in Sea,

i remember when i lived in paris and canadians walked around covered in maple leafs. The europeans just used to laugh at them. We played a game on the Champs – spot the Canadian. i must say i was very embarassing.

#140 This is Wonderland on 03.05.12 at 11:44 am

#129 Brad In SEA!!!
For anyone who doeasnt know that means Americans find Canadians to be really kept in the dark…
———————————————————-

Worked for an Automotive Supplier in Detroit for 8 years and really enjoyed working in the U.S, the people were always very open and friendly to me and if I had a chance I would love to move to an area like Seattle. However to imply that Americans have a knowledge of the world that Canadians cannot understand is laughable your statements seem to be too emotionally driven to take seriously. No one person or country is that perfect. And as far as Americans being far more polite and progressive, apparently you have never traveled to Sharon Pennsylvania.

#141 maxx on 03.05.12 at 12:20 pm

Garth, the mortgage prepayment disclosure code is (partially) a good thing and, as you point out, there are no brakes on the amounts which banks can extract from borrowers. Business as usual….banks protecting interest rates on their credit “products”, whilst enjoying record borrowing-orgy profits brought on by ridiculously low rates. Debt is cheap (for now) so people borrow, eventually finding they have taken on too much debt, so they borrow more to make ends meet. Not a cycle which contributes to a healthy economy.
The usury doesn’t end with banks either. In Montreal last December, I visited a currency exchange wicket in a large shopping centre. I wanted to change a small amount ($20US) to Canadian. With the CAD hovering at about par, I had expected a reasonable transaction cost, however TNLAT exchange counter said that I’d get $7.35!!! After expressing my disgust, I took my US$ back. My point, and it’s very good to know, is that I then went into Sears (and since then many other shops) and they accepted my US$ at par!!! Their cash registers are linked to forex. So to all of the good people who may not have known this, ask first and don’t let yourself be taken to the cleaners.

Two other caveats:
1-Last year, I bought two cruises simultaneously, payable in US$. An error was made and the second cruise needed to be refunded before correction. The bank charged us the exchange rate, plus 3% upon purchase, which we expected and accepted. However, they also tried to charge us the same 3% both ways (6%) for returning the credit to our account on the erroneous transaction! I was beyond furious and the bank wiped this stupid charge from our account without delay. I really hope that many don’t take this kind of thing lying down.

2-If you try to purchase a money order or bank draft in a foreign currency with that same currency at a Canadian bank, you will be charged a conversion rate as follows: One to convert the foreign currency to Canadian and then a second conversion rate to put that same money back into the foreign currency you just handed to it!!!! Banks are out to get you for every single cent they can. Watch them and fight them! I do every chance I get- I once caught a major bank on a 5-cent discrepancy in their favor (of course) and made them pay me back. It’s nickel and dime all the way with them. That same bank also told me that I was (and this is an exact quote) “costing them money”.

Bottom line, debt pays magnificently and those with money who don’t borrow are considered “costly”.

#142 Island Girl on 03.05.12 at 12:22 pm

The new picture cracks me up. I know that site well. Thos suckers are really out there. That site sat half completed for years and the original buildings had vacancies because no one was buying. And now they think that people are suddenly in need for a ton more? Sheesh.

#143 NoName on 03.05.12 at 12:39 pm

Since the world situation is making us all think about how governments, religions and business effect us, this simplified explanation might help us understand better.

THE “TWO-COW THEORY” OF WHAT MAKES…

A CHRISTIAN:

You have two cows. You keep one and give one to your neighbor.

A SOCIALIST:

You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.

A REPUBLICAN:

You have two cows. Your neighbor can get his own.

A DEMOCRAT:

You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. You vote people into office who tax your cows, forcing you to sell one to raise money to pay the tax. The people you voted for then take the tax money and buy a cow and give it to your neighbor. You feel righteous.

A COMMUNIST:

You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk.

A FASCIST:

You have two cows. The government seizes both and sells you the milk.

DEMOCRACY, CANADIAN STYLE:

You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.

CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE:

You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION:

You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops dead.

A FRENCH CORPORATION:

You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION:

You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.

A GERMAN CORPORATION:

You have two cows. You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION:

You have two cows but you don’t know where they are. You break for lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION:

You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

A MEXICAN CORPORATION:

You think you have two cows, but you don’t know what a cow looks like. You take a nap.

A SWISS CORPORATION:

You have 5000 cows, none of which belongs to you. You charge for storing them for others.

A BRAZILIAN CORPORATION:

You have two cows. You enter into a partnership with an American corporation. Soon you have 1000 cows and the American corporation declares bankruptcy.

CANADIAN RE AGENT:

You dont have any cows, RE AGENT will set you up with mortgage broker, who will give you cash back loan to buy cows.

#144 Freedom 55 on 03.05.12 at 12:42 pm

Good seeing a new pic, last nights was… going out there a tad. Not that I’m a Bible thumper or anything but you know what I mean.

#145 refinow on 03.05.12 at 12:46 pm

Disclosure of mortgage penalties, means nothing to protect the borrowers.

The Bank’s slipped these changes under the radar, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Just like the the BMO 2.99% 5 year deal, that they “Slipped” the no prepayment clause beyond the 20/20 without a bonified sale… Guess you sheeple missed that one.

Even if the Bank’s disclose they can always manipulate the penalties be changing the posted rate, (That phantom rate no one pays, but somehow effects the amount of the penalty.

More reasons to rent…(I am month to month, and can leave with 2 months notice), I have no penalties, no lost CMHC Premiums, real estate fees, legal fees, dischrage fees, Land Transfer tax if I rent again. I don’t pay Property taxes, Condo fees, repair costs.

#146 Daisy Mae on 03.05.12 at 12:49 pm

CBC poster: “Are these “economists” like the “supposed economist” that Harper claims to be? An “economist” that has never had a real job? A career politician! Are these private sector economists even Canadian? Or are they now taking advice from foreign economists?

If Jim Flaherty wants advice from a real economic, deficit killing financial wizard tell him to call Paul Martin; the man that paid off Mulroney’s huge deficit. The last Conservative PM to bankrupt Canada!”

***************************

Posters everywhere are angry…very angry.

#147 Daisy Mae on 03.05.12 at 12:57 pm

Another angry CBC poster: “…..reducing corporate taxes doesn’t encourage companies to keep their factories in Canada but all it seems to do is pad their bottom line and increase dividends to the shareholders….”

*********************

Kinda reminds me of our very own BC HST. Companies were supposed to pass on their savings to consumers and, of course…didn’t.

#148 DonDWest on 03.05.12 at 1:07 pm

A part of me wonders if a large part of HAM is just a conspiracy set up by the real estate industrial complex. I have no doubt HAM exists, but most likely not at the scale we’re being percieved to see. A part of me wonders if real estate companies just find a pile of unemployed Asian kids and pay them to camp out in tents next to the opening of a new condo complex.

As pointed out already, as bubble-centric as the prices are today, many of these kids could find better deals less than a few blocks away if they truly wanted to buy property, but if you’re paid to camp there. . .

#149 ozy - A link to save your money (not a bank commercial) on 03.05.12 at 1:07 pm

http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2012/01/demographia-international-housing.html

One need read no further than reports from local and national real estate boards for examples of their cheerleading, particularly from CREA in Canada, where we are continually reminded that high and rising prices are sustainable with only the smallest of corrections potentially in the offing . What real estate boards fail to realize is that a healthy and sustainable real estate market is one in which the vast majority of households can afford to enter the housing market and remain there comfortably if interest rates rise and house values drop. Such was not the case throughout many markets in the United States and I suspect that many markets in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia will suffer the same fate when interest rates return to historical levels or Part 2 of the Great Recession becomes entrenched.

#150 geogar on 03.05.12 at 1:12 pm

“…And that is being fuelled by a growing local economy and the resulting positive outlook people have in the future.”

Is this a play on words? Or is my crystal ball inferior?

#151 cxcroney on 03.05.12 at 1:17 pm

#135 Eagleboy Parksville
“You would know big girl.You fit right into the mold”

I could simply write “I rest my case.”

But I have a question for you because I might be misrepresenting what you are saying and I don’t want to take offense if none is intended.

You have pointed out in past blog entries you like your women “full sized”, around size 26, if I remember. And within the last week you said all men who drink coffee are “girls”. And yesterday you pointed out that our pudgy Prime Minister can do no wrong. And he drinks coffee!. Furthermore ,yesterday you said you were at Tim Horton’s in Port Alberni recently and everything is great in Port Alberni.
I think you would agree with me that going to a Timmys for a juice or milk is kind of like sending mixed messages in light of your recent postings.

So,here is the question. Are you hitting on me? If so, just letting you know, I don’t swing that way.

As you are sitting there in your 1 bedroom unit at the seniors complex in Oceanside, stroking away at your keyboard, fantasizing about Stephen Harper in a dress ,remember what the warning on the box says.
“Seek immediate medical assistance for an _____ lasting longer than 4 hours.”

#152 curious! on 03.05.12 at 1:23 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/flaherty-gets-upbeat-outlook-from-economists/article2358878/

Another bogus warning about interest raise hikes on the horizon.

#153 Raging Ranter on 03.05.12 at 1:29 pm

@Snowbold, agreed that it is NOT workers behind poor productivity. However, I always take productivity measures with a grain of salt. The productivity gap between the US and Canada has always been “huge”, or at least allegedly so. I’m not sure that’s the reality. I don’t believe something as obscure as productivity can be measured with anything approaching accuracy, nor do I believe data gathered from one country can be directly compared to another.

#154 Linda Pearson on 03.05.12 at 1:54 pm

#144Freedom 55 on 03.05.12 at 12:42 pm
Good seeing a new pic, last nights was… going out there a tad. Not that I’m a Bible thumper or anything but you know what I mean.
…………………………………………………………………………

I agree; in another context there’d be a fatwa declared before the day was out. But having said that, Garth’s comment about trying to provoke the ‘Boston Terrierists’ is hilarious.

#155 Spiltbongwater on 03.05.12 at 1:55 pm

#141 maxx on 03.05.12 at 12:20 pm

I had RBC return 1 cent to my account they charged as interest on a bank fee that was waived for 2 years until they decided to stop waiving the fee, with no notice to myself of the change. The guy on the phone was surprised I would want the penny returned.

I lodged a complaint of TD charging me $5 currency conversion fee, for buying Euros. I was asking that seen as a fee is charged for currency conversion, then they should be buying and selling currency at the market rate. TD doesn’t charge the $5 anymore. Banks and their flipping fees, I am surprised they still offer free parking in front of their branches.

#156 cxcroney on 03.05.12 at 2:19 pm

#143 Noname

Thanks for the chuckle!

#157 TaxHaven on 03.05.12 at 2:37 pm

@#153 Raging Ranter,

No western economy is anywhere NEAR competitive…if we were, where are the JOBS? Where are the new small businesses? Where are the good jobs for young graduates? Tim Horton’s?

While loggers, government employees and truckdrivers get $20+/hour… Why? No free market in labour!!

And how can Canada’s economy – with minimum wages of @$10+/-, mandatory CPP/UIC etc. costs, high taxes, soaring inflation in essentials and a massive government sector – be “competitive” with lean and mean SE Asia?

(Which is NOT burdened with an enormous “social safety net”!)

#158 Victor on 03.05.12 at 2:44 pm

CREA also said the average home price this year is expected to fall 1.1 percent from 2011 to C$359,100 ($363,500), down from C$363,116 in 2011. In 2013, the average price is forecast to rebound 0.9 percent to C$362,300.

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/existing-home-sales-forecast-rise-163545233.html

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

When the nation’s biggest pumper starts calling for a reversal, you know things are going to get bad. Very bad.

#159 EB on 03.05.12 at 3:01 pm

#131 – “Just in case you haven’t heard: “Realtors expect home prices to fall” – CBC”

Right, but thankfully this is “just what’s needed” in BC so that a bubble doesn’t form.

Whew, dodged a bullet there.

#160 live within your means on 03.05.12 at 3:08 pm

#145 refinow on 03.05.12 at 12:46 pm
Disclosure of mortgage penalties, means nothing to protect the borrowers.

The Bank’s slipped these changes under the radar, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Just like the the BMO 2.99% 5 year deal, that they “Slipped” the no prepayment clause beyond the 20/20 without a bonified sale… Guess you sheeple missed that one.

Even if the Bank’s disclose they can always manipulate the penalties be changing the posted rate, (That phantom rate no one pays, but somehow effects the amount of the penalty.

More reasons to rent…(I am month to month, and can leave with 2 months notice), I have no penalties, no lost CMHC Premiums, real estate fees, legal fees, dischrage fees, Land Transfer tax if I rent again. I don’t pay Property taxes, Condo fees, repair costs.

………………….

From my experience, renting in different cities over many years, most of the above taxes were taken into consideration and included in the rent increases annually. You’re a fool if you think they were not.

#161 Junius on 03.05.12 at 3:21 pm

#149 ozy,

You said, “What real estate boards fail to realize is that a healthy and sustainable real estate market is one in which the vast majority of households can afford to enter the housing market and remain there comfortably if interest rates rise and house values drop.”

It is much worse than that. Rates now do not have to rise. Remember that the Re: industry has accounted for a very large percentage – 25-35% of our economy over the past 5 years. As it slows it will bring us closer to or possibly into a recession. Coupled with a reversal of the wealth effect as prices decline this is how the bubble bursts.

#162 Junius on 03.05.12 at 3:26 pm

#148 DonDWest,

You said, “A part of me wonders if a large part of HAM is just a conspiracy set up by the real estate industrial complex.”

Stop wondering. You are correct. The impact is so overblown it is not even funny. Remember all the articles in the papers about the “Year of the Dragon” bringing planeloads of Chinese investors. Never happened.

No one knows the pace of immigration and foreign buyers coming. No one. However hyping and exaggerating it serves the interest of the RE business.

#163 Steven Rowlandson on 03.05.12 at 3:44 pm

If living in a tent becomes normal for non boomer canadians it will be because they were priced and underpaid out of canada.

#164 eddy on 03.05.12 at 3:45 pm

The Maple Party wants to nationalize banking and eliminate national and provincial debts. Citizens will benefit from interest free lending…..
This clip is from the candidates in Jack Laytons old riding where we are having a by-election

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MQvTOSyBqU

#165 Debtfree on 03.05.12 at 3:52 pm

@ eaglebay you should read what you’re wishing for .
you might be getting some on your dungeness already . We don’t want any on ours.
http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/03/05/Diluted-Bitumen/

#166 ANONYMOUS on 03.05.12 at 3:57 pm

to Waterloo-Resident: yes, so what, you found a high-paying Alberta job for a Well Equipment Operator that pays $2,800 per month, that’s $33,600 per year. That is very good pay for a skilled worker, its better than being unemployed here in Ontario, so why don’t you just jump at it. Go ahead and get it while you can.

As for condos in T.O. (Toronto), I have a friend who is moving to Toronto and she is searching for a place. She can find a rental for $835 / month or buy her own condo for only $1350 per month, she has decided to buy. When I asked her WHY is she buying instead of renting a place that is far cheaper she told me this:

“I am tired of waiting and waiting, I’m going to be gray haired soon with my years passing by, I’m getting too old to wait, so I’m going to buy now before the prices head up any higher.”

You know, I admire Garth and his advice here at this site, he has helped a lot of people to ‘not buy’, but so far I don’t see an end to the gravy-train of house / condo prices heading higher and higher here in the big-smoke, so I agree with my friend that the time to buy is now and waiting is just a waste of time as prices will never fall, not in T.O.

#167 palebird on 03.05.12 at 4:00 pm

#129 Yeah you are right. Canada is just a little provincial backwater. Think about it, what do we bring to the world to offer? Natural resources and that is about it. We did not create these resources, just happened to be sitting on them. All these know it all’s should go live and work abroad for a few years. Then you will find that nobody in the world at large even mentions Canada because it is basically insignificant on the world stage. All these petty problems people take so seriously here are just that, petty problems. Kind of like watching soap operas. You can watch if you like but at the end of the day nobody gives a damn and the world keeps on turning.

#168 John on 03.05.12 at 4:18 pm

The Feds are not “keeping rates down until at least 2014″. The Feds can never ever raise rates again. Ever. Not in the current derivative-based system. So consider what this means.

One option is to not consider it, but that’s not the best strategy in my opinion.

#169 Canadian Abroad on 03.05.12 at 4:34 pm

Brad In Sea, I currenly live in San Francisco, CA and I hate to admit it but you are spot on. I had lived in Dublin for a little bit and to see the Canadian attitude abroad after leaving Toronto really shocked me. We are now dubbed the “dumbest tourists” in Europe. Yes that is a true statement. Americans are actually viewed as being cultured and respectful of other’s cultures when they travel of which I was dumbfounded. It goes to show that we really do have an ol’ chip on our shoulder! Yes we are even more loathed than Americans because everything we do has a maple leaf slapped across it. An Irish friend of mine told me that Canadians do not really understand how to cope with reality of an expanding global economy and we blame everything on the Americans. He said we have a very difficult time accepting responsibilities of our own. After living now in San Francisco I have seen a few fellow Canadian coworkers *must* point out the good of Canada every chance they get. Do the others care? No not really. By others I am referring to the American, Australian, Indian, and Japanese, and Chinese coworkers in my group. Why do we *always* have to try to prop ourselves up so much? Sigh. As for the many racist comments I continually see on this blog that claim or infer the U.S. is only Spanish speaking or is all illegal immigrants, you truly do speak to the points that Brad was making. To those comments I raise your ignorance and disgrace front and center. I never thought I would say this, but I am now to be Canadian! Case in point, look no further than comment #47 from Eaglebay – Parksville. I rest my case.

A coworker brought up Justin Beiber saying how he was a wannabe artist. Instead of recognizing the truth in this statement, a Canadian coworker and friend of mine went off! She was so pissed and she had to instantly point out that he is Canadian along with many other Canadian artists that have contributed to music scene in the U.S. She totally missed the point and was so caught up in the fact that somebody actually didn’t like a Canadian – not because Justin is Canadian but because he really does suck. Do you really think the handful of great Canadian artists make a dent in the grand scheme of Hollywood or the music scene when compared to the number of American artists? Not at all and nobody gives a shit. We need to get over ourselves. Everyone around her that day just smiled and nodded, much to your point how Americans tolerate how dumb we act at times. It is shameful what we have become.

As for accepting other cutlures and races, Canadians will never understand that the U.S. does the best job over that of any other nation. I witness it on a daily basis. In Canada, we seem to segregate everyone and we have little respect with our commentary to the feelings of others when we make comments that deliberately point out the differences among one another. Case in point

#170 Herb on 03.05.12 at 4:41 pm

157 TaxHaven,

before you run off comparing Canadian and SE Asian competitiveness, you might consider the differences in standards of living and prosperity. All you have to do is convince Canadians to settle for shacks, rice, loincloths and flipflops, and this country will be as competitive as anyone else.

And while you’re at it, let’s do it properly. Let’s settle the prosperity surplus and competitiveness lag and impose poverty and competitiveness all at once. Make that the Neandercon platform as opposed to trying to achieve the same thing incrementally by stealth. Heck, we live in a democracy, so all you have to do is convince people and they’ll vote for it.

#171 Devore on 03.05.12 at 5:10 pm

#98 Devore

To postemptively prevent myself from looking like too much of an ass, let me follow up.

First, I did slightly misread your original comment, but only slightly and immaterially.

Second, interest rates are a factor in bond prices, but only one factor. The primary one is demand. I would even say the ONLY one is demand, and interest rates are one factor affecting demand.

When a bond is issued, it is done at par ($100.00) with a certain yield. This is the coupon. It remains constant through the life of the bond (barring variable bonds, which are a small minority). At bond maturity, the par value is returned to investors.

The coupon rate is set by several things, primarily prevailing interest rates, investment risk and principal risk (ie credit worthiness).

When any of these factors change (interest rates or risk profile), demand is affected. If for example rates go up, demand will withdraw, deeming the bond too expensive (better returns available elsewhere), and the price will drop rapidly until bids return. If for example the company’s credit rating improves, the risk of default is lessened and more investors move into the safer asset, driving up the price.

There are other reasons demand may change, for example economic conditions and economic outlook. If fewer bonds are demanded, even if rates are moving lower, the price will drop.

Also, as the bond nears maturity, demand tends to increase. A 1 year bond is safer than a 30 year bond. Principal repayment and principal risk are so important in bond pricing, that you can even buy strip bonds, which are bonds with the coupon portion removed, ie, principal-only.

So, yes, interest rates affect bond prices, but a) not directly, and b) not always as you might expect. Compare interest rates and bond prices over the last 2 years for example.

#172 Form Man on 03.05.12 at 5:13 pm

#170 Herb

good post.

as to other comments regarding the supposed ‘ Canadian worker productivity gap’ vs the U.S……
I don’t agree. Apples to apples, Canadian workers are just as productive as Americans.

#173 AM on 03.05.12 at 5:18 pm

Yet another conflicting “news” story regurgitated from a CREA press release. Don’t worry everyone, this year is going to be better than last.

http://finance.sympatico.ca/home/home_sales_to_beat_2011_prices_to_stabilize_crea/6c907ab1

#174 jess on 03.05.12 at 5:28 pm

tit for tat

President Dilma Rousseff later weighed in on the debate, vowing to defend Brazilian industry and stop developed countries’ policies from causing the “cannibalisation” of emerging markets.

The unemployment rate in the 17-nation Eurozone hit 10.7% – the highest level ever recorded since the Eurozone was created back in 1999

Canada threatens trade war with EU over tar sands | Environment …www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/20/canada-eu-tar-sandsCached

Japan logged a record trade deficit with China in January as exports dropped by a fifth
============

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2012/01/27/india-factory-workers-revolt-kill-company-president/

Workers at the Regency Ceramics factory in India raided the home of their boss, and beat him senseless with lead pipes after a wage dispute turned ugly.

India’s factory workers are the lowest paid within the big four emerging markets. Per capita income in India is under $4,000 a year, making it the poorest country in the BRICs despite its relatively booming economy

#175 John G. Young on 03.05.12 at 5:35 pm

#169 Canadian Abroad

Agreed.

Canadian hatred of the United States is just penis envy on a national scale.

#176 Karl Pilkington on 03.05.12 at 5:51 pm

Interesting article about the BS going on within our hallowed govenment. http://www.myspace.com//tom_heneghan_intel/blog/545398035banks:

#177 Josh L on 03.05.12 at 6:00 pm

Interest rates are only part of the picture. Amortization period is another. % down payment as well. So we just went through a decade where interest rates dropped to historic lows, amortization periods went from 25 years to 40 and % down payment required (for CMHC insurance) went from 10% down to 5% (or 0% with cash back loans). Predictably prices sky rocketed. You can look at all the employment figures and income figures you want, but it all gets drowned out when governments start monkeying with the above. So the government effectively brought forward the “buying age” by 10 years. If you flood the market with a decade worth of demand and make money cheap prices sky rocket. So 20 year olds are now buying instead of 30 year olds.

Now tell me what happens when you reverse those same policies? That’s right, you not only void the market of new buyers, but you force a decades worth of marginal buyers into a precarious position, from which many will be forced to sell upon renewal. Prices not only plummet to where they should have been if the government hadn’t stuck it’s nose in, but further due to herd menality and momentum. The pendulum always swings too far before coming back to equilibrium.

#178 OneMoreThing on 03.05.12 at 6:31 pm

Two things you need to have done already.

1 – House SOLD!
2 – Invest Wisely – Liquid Sidelines!

and then there’s

3 – Do your best to keep your job.

#179 Mr Buyer on 03.05.12 at 6:42 pm

#166ANONYMOUS on 03.05.12 at 3:57 pm …
so I agree with my friend that the time to buy is now and waiting is just a waste of time as prices will never fall, not in T.O.
……………………………………………………………
To buy as the bubble has topped is asures a lifetime of debt that there is literally no escape from. BUYER BEWARE. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BUY A HOUSE. THE BUBBLE HAS TOPPED. SALES ARE FALLING ALL ACROSS CANADA. BUYER BEWARE. (I strongly suspect the post by Anonymous was really by a real estate salesperson)

#180 Canadian Abroad on 03.05.12 at 6:48 pm

Form Man, I hate to break it to you, but Canadians are not as productive as Americans. Canadians are only 82% as productive as Americans. I’ve lived on both sides of the border and I have never seen people work as hard or as long hours as Americans.

“Five main reasons for the productivity gap: the lower capital intensity of economic activity in Canada; an innovation gap in Canada relative to the United States; Canada’s relatively underdeveloped high-tech sector; less developed human capital in Canada in terms of proportionately fewer university graduates and scientists and engineers in research and development; and more limited economies of scale and scope in Canada.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Canadian_and_American_economies

#181 Devore on 03.05.12 at 6:56 pm

Here’s a gem from the US (via VCI):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-million-dollar-mortgage-goes-unpaid-for-years-while-couple-fights-foreclosure/2012/03/01/gIQAb4DBpR_story.html

In five years, they have never made a mortgage payment, a fact that amazes even the most seasoned veterans of the foreclosure crisis.

These guys take “throwing away money on rent” very seriously; they don’t believe in paying the mortgage either.

I like this one:

“I’ve always loved God,” Ritter said. “I haven’t always obeyed God, but I’ve always loved him.”

He must believe in the new testament god, because the one from the old testament would send his buddy Gabe to turn him into a pillar of salt.

#182 Westernman on 03.05.12 at 6:58 pm

Form Man @ # 172,
Wrong again boy…
I lived in the U.S. for 25 years and I can tell you without any doubt Americans are much more productive than Canadians. It isn’t even close…
You shouldn’t believe what you see and hear from the CBC, chump…

#183 Snowboid on 03.05.12 at 7:02 pm

#151 cxcroney on 03.05.12 at 1:17 pm…

Hilarious!

#184 Form Man on 03.05.12 at 7:10 pm

#180 Canadian Abroad

Different levels of education or technology isn’t ‘apples to apples’
just saying…….

#185 Mister Obvious on 03.05.12 at 7:16 pm

#173 Josh L

Every once in a while a commenter on this blog will submit a concise post that exposes the heart of the problem, and mercifully, does so in less than 5000 words. Yours would be one of those. Thanks for taking the time.

#186 brainsail on 03.05.12 at 7:23 pm

#169 Canadian Abroad

Very well put! Thank you.

We have been living in Central Texas since the 80’s. Moved here after I received my PhD in Alberta Boom and Bust. I was at the top of my class. We have never looked back. According to the last census there are 834K Canadians living in the US.

For the life of me, I will never understand why Canadians are so critical of the US. They know everthing about the US elections but don’t know what’s going on in their own backyards. They want the US economy to implode. They brag about how much their homes are worth.

We talk to friends and relatives every week and I call them sympathy calls. Almost caller asks about how we are doing. “You must be hurting really bad because of the crash of house prices and employment.” Every time I have to remind them that employment numbers are not as bad as other areas and our house evaluation has been the same for the last 10 years. We are doing just fine. Thanks for the call.

My relatives still think I was an idiot for leaving. My mother still doesn’t understand why I as a licensed Architect couldn’t get a job and that after two years of living on welfare and working part time in a stereo store and then getting a job as a night watchman at a NG construction site that paid 25% more than my last job as a professional, I decided to pull the plug. After, all these years, they still do not understand what happened to the economy in Alberta after the NEP thing.

I blame all of this on the news media. Canada is opaque and the US is transparent.

Oh, and after all these years of working in the corporate world and working with hundreds of different people, no American has ever made a negative comment about Canada or its citizens. I used to be proud to say I was from Canada.

#187 TurnerNation on 03.05.12 at 7:50 pm

For the newer blog dogs, here is what this weblog is not (hard to determine sometimes, I know):

This is not a(n):

Ear Blog
Flouride Blog
Doomer Blog
Social Justice Blog
Political Blog

#188 Junius on 03.05.12 at 7:50 pm

#175 John G. Young,

You said, “Canadian hatred of the United States is just penis envy on a national scale.”

I don’t think so. I think all hatred is based on ignorance. To hate any nation or group of people is simply a matter of ignorance. We might hate the rulers of North Korea, Iran or some other country but it should always be from the perspective of how they wrong their own people.

There is much to admire about the US but clearly they have a lot of things going wrong these days. It is fair to be very critical of many things from their politics to their corporate cronyism without hating them.

I, for one, admire the USA less than right now that at anytime in my lifetime. However I still admire much about the US and love many of its people.

#189 Junius on 03.05.12 at 7:52 pm

#168 John,

You said, “The Feds can never ever raise rates again. Ever. Not in the current derivative-based system.”

Would you care to explain this statement because is smells a whole lot like BS to me? Ever?

#190 jess on 03.05.12 at 7:53 pm

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.

Corporate Accountability Comes before the U.S. Supreme Court
March 1, 2012 | by Erica Razook
Erica Razook attended Tuesday’s hearing of arguments at the US Supreme Court in the case of Esther Kiobel et al. v. Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum. The case focuses on the extent of US jurisdiction over global corporations for abuses allegedly committed outside U.S. borders. It is being closely watched by human rights advocates, international companies and governments around the world.

http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/kiobel-v-royal-dutch-petroleum-et-al/
Issue: (1) Whether the issue of corporate civil tort liability under the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, is a merits question or instead an issue of subject matter jurisdiction; (2) whether corporations are immune from tort liability for violations of the law of nations such as torture, extrajudicial executions or genocide may instead be sued in the same manner as any other private party defendant under the ATS for such egregious violations; and (3) whether and under what circumstances the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, allows courts to recognize a cause of action for violations of the law of nations occurring within the territory of a sovereign other than the United States.
The suit was brought on behalf of the late Dr. Barinem Kiobel – an outspoken Ogoni leader and eleven other Nigerians from the Ogoni area of the Niger Delta. The putative class action sought damages and other relief for crimes against humanity, including torture and extrajudicial executions, and other international law violations committed with defendants’ assistance and complicity between 1992 and 1995 against the Ogoni people

http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/kiobel

#191 Kevin on 03.05.12 at 7:53 pm

A few more graphs for those interested

Housing investment as a percentage of GDP is at all levels not seen since the last housing bubble in Canada.
http://tinyurl.com/76mhjut

The FIRE and Construction sectors take up a market share of 27% of all GDP right now. The average since 1997 is 25%.
http://tinyurl.com/783zh3a

And FIRE and construction sector employment is at 13.3%, up from the long term average of 12.2%, all the way back to 1976.
http://tinyurl.com/8935yx8

The goods producing sector ( agriculture, manufacturing, utilities, forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas) minus construction has dropped from a market share of total employment from 27% in 1976 to 14% now.
http://tinyurl.com/74vsfcy

And construction employment is at levels not seen except when Canada experienced housing bubbles in the 80’s and 90’s
http://tinyurl.com/6nl38kh

Put these together with record household debt to GDP ratios, record household debt to income ratios, a house price to income at record levels and a house price to rent at record levels, makes me believe Canada has a huge housing bubble.

#192 TurnerNation on 03.05.12 at 7:57 pm

FSBO says almost 1/2 mill for tiny 1 bed condo is a good investment!? Pans sketchy realtors. Fully story at 6.

(You must rent it out at $2000+mo to be cash flow flat, I’m guessing. Don’t forget, 2 land transfer taxes).

http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-real-estate-apartments-condos-1-bedroom-den-YOUNG-PROFESSIONAL-KING-WEST-BRAND-NEW-LUXURY-CONDO-FOR-SALE-W0QQAdIdZ360654199

Price $420,000.00
Excellent investment opportunity for a first time buyer, executive professional, couple or small family. This place WILL go up in value in the years/months ahead!

This is a private sale by the owner — so you have the convenience of avoiding sketchy realtors. Only serious inquires please.

#193 smartalox on 03.05.12 at 8:09 pm

@ Ret (#128)

I think the phrase you’re looking for is
“HAM BAM thank you Ma’am!”

#194 carol on 03.05.12 at 8:18 pm

As an aside, in the little ripoff town of Tbay ,where taxes are higher then Van .Gas costs 5.56 a gal.
Can someone please tell me why the oozing corpustle on the backside of alberta called the tar sands issu
es hundreds of licences to different countries, oil to different countries.Our oil gas in the us is a dollar or more cheaper. I read they are going to decimate 55 million acres..For What ,china and most foreign countries.But nadda nothing cheaper for canadians

#195 CalgaryBoy on 03.05.12 at 8:21 pm

WoW, thanks for sharing all those stories from Calgary! This gives me hope that houses will become more affordable in the future!

#196 HarperCaust is coming - run for your lives!!! on 03.05.12 at 8:22 pm

Hey Greater fools!

Why work???? $260k for a Vancouver Lipstick flip!

Just got this listing here in East Vancouver, on a noisy main street 33rd Ave, 2 blocks from the Vancouver Cemetary. Huge cemetary.
http://sternhomes.ca/property_details-4-10034.html
Sold in 2009 for $660k, now relisted in less than two years for only $260k more!!!!
http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=11604788&PidKey=1057627480
Awesome, why work when CMHC can lend you the money to buy a flip.
Good thing they changed some windows, put down Home Depot laminate, and of course, as the talented realtor put it “installation was added”, and of course a “modern fridge and stove”
These are poetic jewels of realtor venacular.

WHY WORK IN VANCOUVER? IT’S FOR CHUMPS.

Thanks CMHC, Thanks F, Thanks C, Thanks for the coming HarperCaust.
** Remember Harpernomics is just daily news until they come for you – Then it’s the “HarperCaust.” **

#197 TaxHaven on 03.05.12 at 8:28 pm

#170 Herb. You twit…

I lived in Taiwan 20 years and just returned to B.C. last year. Living standards there are HIGHER than here. Debt is far lower. Productivity? Well, they are night and day ahead of Canada…

Supermarkets there make those here look like Zellers.
Fibre-optic broadband internet is accessible everywhere and is cheaper than anything here.
The Shinkansen bullet train will run you 120 miles, Taichung to Taipei, in 45 minutes at 130mph for about $25 Canadian.
Alcohol can be bought in any corner store, supermarket or even 7-11 yet I see less alcoholism than here. South African, Australian or Argentinian (my favourites) wines run $7-10 a bottle.
There are more name-brand stores in any town there than you’ll see in all the airports in Canuckistan.
A good meal of rice, pork or fish, soup and veggies will cost you $2 Cdn.
My property tax there is $140 Cdn. a year.
They have small and large factories – in nearly every town or city – that actually PRODUCE THINGS. My house was a foreclosure and cost us $80K Cdn.
Airfares and PCs cost abut 70% of what they do here.
Hospital insurance there costs 15% less than it does here in B.C., includes dental care and enable me to get an MRI, with one day notice, TWICE. There are no lengthy wait times for anything that I know of and all doctors operate on a WALK-IN basis.

“shacks, rice, loincloths and flipflops”?

Yeah, really…

#198 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.05.12 at 8:33 pm

#165 Debtfree on 03.05.12 at 3:52 pm
“@ eaglebay you should read what you’re wishing for .
you might be getting some on your dungeness already . We don’t want any on ours.
http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/03/05/Diluted-Bitumen/
……….
I agree with you.
Progress is bad, it’ll wreck our natural environment and the health of our people.
This “diluted-bitumen” has caused so much damage and hurt so many people that we have to stop all economic development.
Furthermore the government should ban most foods and all cars on the road.
Fatsos are wrecking their lives and costing us, taxpayers a fortune that we can no longer afford.
Cars are destroying our environment with all that CO2 not to mention all the roads, highways and parking lots.
So no CO2 for the trees and without trees we won’t have to worry about our filthy logging industry.

Having fresh dungeness for supper caught by moi.

#199 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.05.12 at 8:44 pm

#169 Canadian Abroad on 03.05.12 at 4:34 pm

You’re right. I’m just another Canadian that knows it all.
I want to reform and to be friendly.
I’m applying for my green card as we speak and learning Spanish.
I’ve also taken a membership at a local tanning salon.
I sure want to fit in when I get to the great USA.
On my green card application, where they ask for your profession, I put down “brain surgeon”.

#200 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.05.12 at 8:55 pm

-
Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline. The doctor is in and out to lunch, so take your pick.

If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.

If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.

If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line so we can trace your call.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are depressed, it doesn’t matter which number you press. No one will answer.

If you are delusional and occasionally hallucinate, please be aware that the thing you are holding on the side of your head is alive and about to bite off your ear.
*
#116 TurnerNation — “Appears Russia will suffer another term under the brutal regime leader – ex-KGB head, thug – Putin.” — Hi TN. Which is worse — a thug, or outside interference from other countries? 4:12 clip, Here and here. “US and Israeli officials hate Putin because he will not “play along” with their planned regime change in places like Syria and Iran.” wrh.com.

#175 John G. Young — “Canadian hatred of the United States . . .” — Not necessarily. Hate or hatred are strong words, and those who use the terms are short-sighted and narrow minded.

If NAmerica were to have a good clear-out of its neanderthal-type politicos, lobbyists and the like, there would possibly be a happier live-and-let-live attitude.

We don’t need ‘secure borders’, as neither would be interested in invading the other. Toss the jackasses mentioned above, they are of no use at all.
*
Brent crude soars; 4:40 clip Fractional Reserve Banxters are whacknuts; G8 Summit in May canceled in Chicago (don’t like protests?); Difference between mgmt. and slaves (workers); Greek Feta Cheese; China ups defense spending; Subsidies While oil companies bask in profits, taxpayers pay for the good times of mgmt.; BoA in trouble?
*
John McCain One politico who should be given a rifle, parachute then dropped into Syria; School Vaccinations arguments going on; Water bills tripling More ‘forced’ austerity; Iran Evidently there will be an attack, but the crooked elections come first; US #1 40 Embarrassing thingies; Getting Fit “Being fit could potentially become a very effective act of civil disobedience.”

#201 Junius on 03.05.12 at 9:14 pm

#191 Kevin,

You nailed it. The sum total of those stats = massive bubble.

#202 Junius on 03.05.12 at 9:19 pm

#186 brainsail,

You said, “I blame all of this on the news media. Canada is opaque and the US is transparent.”

Really? They are both absolutely terrible and a disgrace to professional journalism. The media in both countries are lackeys for the advertisers.

One area where the US is worse is in corporate control of politics. It is much worse than Canada because of the money needed to run the long election cycles. Worse still now with Citizen’s United.

#203 live within your means on 03.05.12 at 9:28 pm

Rec’d from a friend.

After filing personal tax returns by April 30th, many Canadians will again receive a tax refund.

This is a very exciting program, and here’s why.

Q. What is a tax refund payment?
A. It’s money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen of it.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment ?
A. The plan is for you to use the money to purchase an HD TV, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn’t that stimulating the economy of China?
A. Shut up.

Below is helpful advice on how to best help the Canadian economy by spending your tax refund wisely:

* If you spend the stimulus money at Wal-Mart, the money will go to China or Sri Lanka.

* If you spend it on gasoline, your money will go to Saudi Arabia.

* If you buy a computer, it will go to India, Taiwan or China .

* If you buy fruit and vegetables, it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

* If you buy an efficient car, it will go to Japan or Korea.

* If you buy useless stuff, it will go to Taiwan.

* If you pay off credit cards or buy stock, it will go to management bonuses and they will hide it offshore.

Instead, keep the money in Canada by:

1) Spending it at yard sales, or

2) Going to hockey games, or

3) Spending it on prostitutes, or

4) Beer, or

5) Tattoos.

(These are the only “true” Canadian businesses still operating)

Conclusion:

Go to a hockey game with a tattooed prostitute that you met at a yard sale and drink beer all day!

……………..

Wish I could use some emoticons :-)

#204 Form Man on 03.05.12 at 9:32 pm

#182 westernman

Somehow I am not surprised that during your 25 years in the U.S., all the Americans you met were far more productive than yourself.

Rather than CBC news, I base my observations on my personal experiences of doing business in the U.S. and Canada, and hiring workers from both countries. Can’t say I found any difference in work ethic ( with the possible exception of construction labourers where the Mexicans are better workers than either Canadians or Americans).
I guess I avoided the laggards such as yourself.

#205 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.05.12 at 9:42 pm

#151 cxphoney on 03.05.12 at 1:17 pm

Never said I was at Tim Horton’s.
Your reading comprehension sucks or maybe a little white lie.
Prove that you’re a big girl and relax.

#206 TurnerNation on 03.05.12 at 9:50 pm

First?

#207 cxcroney on 03.05.12 at 10:08 pm

#199 Eagleboy Parksville

Now now eagleboy. That red patch on your neck is beginning to show. Fifth time in 2 days making colour-related remarks in your comments.

Better to soar like an eagle than squawk like a seagull.

#208 Sp on 03.05.12 at 10:10 pm

#182

I lived in the U.S. for 25 years and I can tell you without any doubt Americans are much more productive than Canadians. It isn’t even close…

I agree. I personally have to work with both American and Canadian and you can tell the drastic difference. The problem in Canada is that the government’s benefit is too good and the tax is too high. Why even bother to work hard? Just get a government job and you are set for life.

#209 disciple on 03.05.12 at 10:13 pm

#187 TurnerNation…you forgot::::

Gardasil blog

—————–
So it looks like Lindsay Lohan was a major FAIL on Saturday Night Live. Word on the net is that Lindsay is done for acting, she’s not the same, Lindsay never coming back….

But we all know the truth here in Stepford, don’t we? They may be able to fool us with dopplegangers, but acting talent or singing talent cannot be duplicated.

RIP Lindsay Lohan…its quite obvious you are gone. Sigh…
But this is not a:

Lindsay Lohan blog…

#210 Herb on 03.05.12 at 10:33 pm

#197 TaxHaven,

so sorry, my geography is off. I thought that SE Asia extended beyond Taiwan and included poorer countries such as Indonesia, the Phillipines, Vietnam etc.

And now you will tell us, of course, how Taiwan achieved its miracle of competiveness and prosperity. And don’t forget to consider non-urban areas.

#211 wollyone on 03.05.12 at 10:33 pm

210th,,,,,

#212 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.05.12 at 10:38 pm

#207 cxcroney on 03.05.12 at 10:08 pm

You’ve sure been around girly.
What’s life without color.
You know what you can do with your political correctness.

#213 disciple on 03.05.12 at 10:50 pm

A Day in the Life of a Banned Canadian, from the website The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State:

http://itccs.org/

That’s it. I’m done. Good night. BTW, I survived a poisoning this weekend. To whoever is responsible, I will find out who you are and tell your mother…

#214 X on 03.05.12 at 10:50 pm

House Price comparisons:

http://fmlistings.tumblr.com/

#215 Snowboid on 03.05.12 at 11:04 pm

#199 eaglebay – Parksville on 03.05.12 at 8:44 pm…

Thank you for alerting us to the dangers of self-lobotomy.

#216 Form Man on 03.05.12 at 11:11 pm

#215 Snowboid

perfect

#217 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.05.12 at 11:15 pm

#215 Snowboid on 03.05.12 at 11:04 pm
#199 eaglebay – Parksville on 03.05.12 at 8:44 pm…
“Thank you for alerting us to the dangers of self-lobotomy.”
……….
What’s a lobotomy?
Is that something you catch in the desert?
Or some water monster in the Okanagan?

#218 cxcroney on 03.05.12 at 11:51 pm

#205 and #207 Eagleboy-Parksville

You were away from your computer for about 4 hours. Good that you took my advice to follow the instructions on the bottle and consult a physician. I’m only here to help. I might have got the Timmy’s thing wrong but it is the facts you have not disputed that trouble me. Harper, full- size dresses, coffee drinking men who are women. I want to make it perfectly clear that I respect you for your acknowledgement of your gender identification issues. And again, with all due respect and encouragement, I strongly urge you to seek some sort of counselling.
Quite understandable for even a man of your age and situation to experience a certain amount of frustration. But, thank god for the internet! At least until you can get yourself straightened out. Good luck,sir.

P.S. The” straightened out” part was not a play on words.
I’ll be there Eagleboy Parksville. I’ll be there for you during your times of rant and ire.

#219 Snowboid on 03.06.12 at 12:02 am

#217 eaglebay – Parksville on 03.05.12 at 11:15 pm…

I’ve heard it’s a last resort for cranky old people who are so miserable they see a need to spread it around.

#220 Get real on 03.06.12 at 12:19 am

To everyone debating work ethic and productivity between Canada and the U.S…. NO COMPARISON. I work in telecom. I spend roughly half my time between many areas of the U.S. and Toronto. I am Canadian and I can say with a straight face that Americans work much harder than Canadians. Their business vernacular is also far more impressive, and they don’t f@ck around and they get te job done. We whine like little bitches. I never realized how smart Americans are until I started working with them.