The myth of HAM

HAM

Poor Amanda Lee. Just a working gal tying to get ahead, which is sometimes brutal when you toil in the rapidly descending new housing sector in BC.

As many people now know, Amanda is a young administrative marketing assistant at MAC Marketing Solutions in Vancouver, a company developers hire to flog condos to the rabble. She crossed the ethical line last week when the company tried to (once again) milk the incredibly lazy, gullible and bush-league Van television media. She posed as one-half of a sister team (her fake sibling is also a MAC employee) scoping condos so their rich Mainland Chinese parents could come and indulge them.

The TV reporters bought it. Their editors bought it. The stations bought it. So CTV and CBC aired false reports based on fraudulent statements. Now print media (The Province, the Globe, HuffPost) are gloating over the gotcha moment. MAC’s president says he is apoplectic. The TV guys, as far as I know, have not apologized. And the blog breaking the story is basking.

This is all heinous, abusive and might be cute if it happened in Lethbridge. But Vancouver is supposed to be the No.2 media hub of English Canada, so it’s just hilarious. What a fitting symbol of what’s going on.

Of course, this is not the first time. In 2011 you might recall Cam Good, head of The Key – another house-flogging, Van-based professional pumping outfit – hiring a yellow helicopter to ferry around “Chinese investors” with three TV crews stuffed into the back of the chopper. The intentional buzzing of defenceless places like White Rock was intended to goose the myth of HAM – Hot Asian Money – and feed the meme that legions of oriental Donald Trumps were about to gobble up the region, pricing the locals out forever.

But as this blog pointed out days after Global and CBC ran their yellow peril stories, the Chinese dudes were actually Canadian realtors from the burbs, posing as rich vultures from Guangdong. Mr. Good’s company also tried to pass off an employee as a consumer in a weird scheme that brought the Groupon concept to selling condos. It failed, but not before making it to air.

And how could we forget the fake lineups in places like Burnaby? People (Asians, preferably) were offered money, plus lawn chairs, portable heaters, food and porta-potties to camp out in from of a sales centre for 24 hours prior to opening. TV news crews were invited to come and witness the spontaneous news event and the stories they ran begat longer lines, people being the lemmings they are.

So two years ago this pathetic blog arrived at the conclusion that HAM is as fake as MAC, The Key, Cam Good and the miscehievous little Amanda. Of course there have been lots of high-end houses bought by people who made their money in Mainland China, and that will continue. But certainly not enough to influence the entire market, or to justify the widely-held view that poor natives are being displaced by foreign hordes.

So ingrained is that notion now that people born in Canada, of Asian heritage, are routinely labeled HAM and lumped in with offshore investors. It’s exactly what the marketers were dreaming of – anxiety and competition welling up in the breast of houseless anglos every time they’re passed by a BMW with an Asian kid at the wheel.

Of course, there is no statistical proof HAM has moved Van prices, at least directly. The closest numbers have been out of Victoria realtors, whose surveys show 93% of buyers in that market come from BC and 97% from within Canada.

VAN PRICES

Van detached house prices doubled between 2009 and 2012, thanks in part to the HAM scare.

However the indirect impact of HAM – as fabricated by Cam Good, Angela and the geniuses at MAC – is massive. Fear of being priced out by faux billionaire Chinese dudes in yellow helos was central to pushing the average SFH price in Van from $800,000 in 2009 to $1.2 million four years later. In other words, it has been people living in Vancouver who have largely done this to themselves, taking on massive mortgages, turning their basements into dank suites, sinking the savings rate into negative numbers and indenturing themselves to their homes.

I said in 2011 that HAM was a myth, and today it’s being proven as such. Now nice marketing assistants with the right body parts are needed to fill in for Mainland Chinese buyers who are still in, surprise, China.

“My feeling is this is the event that is going to push the current crash over the edge,” says Harry in Vancouver. “The news is mainstream now. My wife and I are in our early 30’s, make over 200k combined (CA and lawyer). We have more than 25% down payment for a good house (without touching RRSP, RESPs, our children’s education accounts, etc etc), but are waiting , as the prices drop every day. Thanks to your blog.”

No, thanks to greed, fraud and fakery.

I may have to revise my forecast.

221 comments ↓

#1 Anymouse on 02.14.13 at 9:33 pm

http://whispersfromtheedgeoftherainforest.blogspot.ca

THANK WHISPERER

#2 Nodebt on 02.14.13 at 9:33 pm

Firstttttt on vday!!!

#3 Eric on 02.14.13 at 9:37 pm

Yes, your 15% price adjustment forecast is way too short.

That’s a reduction in national average price. Van was always double. — Garth

#4 erlich on 02.14.13 at 9:37 pm

HAM and cheese on rye!

#5 Static on 02.14.13 at 9:38 pm

Please be first

1st

#6 claudius emperor on 02.14.13 at 9:40 pm

How is this not a fraud?
These people should be deprived of the right to work in Real Estate and should serve jail time!

Give me a break!
And the media? I am siply speachless. Piece of garbage!

#7 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.14.13 at 9:41 pm

Imagine you were one of the suckers who already bought a MAC-marketed condo!

If people are suing the Trump developers in Toronto, I’m sure the lawyers are lining up for this one.

Bob Rennie and friends will need to skip town to avoid being lymched

#8 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.14.13 at 9:41 pm

(lynched – stupid iPad)

#9 AK on 02.14.13 at 9:47 pm

#2 Nodebt on 02.14.13 at 9:33 pm
“Firstttttt on vday!!!”

And

#5 Static on 02.14.13 at 9:38 pm

“Please be first

1st”

————————————————————–
Not quite, you are both a brick short of a load.

#10 Aleksey on 02.14.13 at 9:47 pm

This story is already on CTV’s website, but until they air this news on TV it’s all just pointless.

A lot of people saw the original story on Saturday’s news block at the prime time, but how many will read the article on their website?

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/condo-marketing-company-admits-it-duped-media-1.1157243

#11 Boombust on 02.14.13 at 9:51 pm

Garth,

Don’t forget pumpers like the seemingly “credible” types (Achoo!) Michael Levy, Michael Campbell et al, who are now quietly backing off their riduculous assertions of a few yeas ago.

They’re all a real treat; they and their media/RE industry friends should be ashamed of themselves.

But, my astute guess is they won’t be.

#12 Babblemaster on 02.14.13 at 9:55 pm

G&M article today says that, based on the “housing affordability index published by Royal Bank of Canada”, houses in Canada are not overpriced. Says that the housing-crash prophets simply do not understand that it’s different in Canada.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investor-community/trading-shots/housing-crash-prophets-should-check-their-numbers-again/article8611843/

#13 Bo Xilai on 02.14.13 at 9:59 pm

From the Twitterverse #vanre… from the CBC TV reporter who did the infamous story…

Matthew [email protected]

MAC/McNeill face having their licenses to sell real estate suspended and/or fines of up to $20,000 #VanRe

Matthew [email protected]

The Real Estate Council of B.C. is investigating both MAC Marketing and Cameron McNeill for false/misleading advertising #VanRe

#14 Devore on 02.14.13 at 10:00 pm

#10 Aleksey

A lot of people saw the original story on Saturday’s news block at the prime time, but how many will read the article on their website?

If you wait 10 minutes, you’ll see it on TV too.

#15 Tim on 02.14.13 at 10:02 pm

Poor natives have been displaced by HAM. It is a fact. Why else does it cost a million dollars for a house when the average salary is about 60K?

Ninety per cent of buyers are locals. Blame them. — Garth

#16 Francis on 02.14.13 at 10:02 pm

…… and the two villians are either going into a top drawer job or retirement. Unbelievable !

#17 Tim on 02.14.13 at 10:04 pm

You should try walking around almost any neighborhood in the west side of Vancouver or East Van, or anywhere in Richmond or Burnaby and see for yourself, regardless of what the real estate industry cites about statistics of immigrant home owners

#18 yel on 02.14.13 at 10:05 pm

RE is always local and when it comes to Calgary my forecast is still the same: comes Feb 2014 it will cost you 8% more to buy a house or an apartment here.
Be aware, logic has very little to do with it.

#19 The end is nigh on 02.14.13 at 10:07 pm

This story is going viral on VREAA.
Check it out (with your permission,Garth)
http://vreaa.wordpress.com/

#20 Joe Calgary on 02.14.13 at 10:12 pm

Canadian media, what a circus.

#21 AK on 02.14.13 at 10:14 pm

Florida Poster Child For The New ‘Rental Class’

http://news.investors.com/business-inside-real-estate/021413-644523-florida-tops-home-foreclosures-as-investors-rent.htm

#22 pathcontrolmonk on 02.14.13 at 10:15 pm

Ironic that the only people I know who have sold recently have been HAMs, and the only people I know who have bought or trying to buy have all been YVR locals.

Oh yeah, and what about the expected surge in sales during Chinese New Year? CNY ended yesterday and still crickets.

#23 i.see.debt.people on 02.14.13 at 10:16 pm

can u say “tipping point”? … timberrrrrrr

#24 Inglorious Investor on 02.14.13 at 10:17 pm

I was about to write that the mainstream media is worthless. But it’s not. It’s less than worthless; it is outright dangerous.

Most of what is reported in the MSM today is little more than PR and advertising dressed up as news. Advernews is the business model today.

A local Toronto all news radio station is a prime example. They run two or three actual stories all day; the rest is cleverly (sometimes) disguised advertising.

And when the news out of the MSM is authentic, the information is often wrong because when they are not fabricating news, they are too lazy or unable to actually get the facts. And most of it is recycled from only a few actual sources.

Don’t trust anything in the MSM. Don’t blindly trust any media outlet for that matter.

It’s bovine excrement.
(Scratch that; bovine excrement is actually useful.)

#25 Brian Ripley on 02.14.13 at 10:17 pm

To Boombust (Post #11 above)

It should be noted that Michael Campbell has been publishing my work (Plunge-O-Meter and Canadian Housing Price Charts) every month for some time:

http://moneytalks.net/topics/personal-finance-and-real-estate/8236-real-estate-condo-crunch-.html

http://moneytalks.net/topics/personal-finance-and-real-estate/8244-cdn-detached-housing-priced-in-gold.html

So it might be fair to say that Mr Campbell is someone who wants his readers to be on the right side of the trade.

Cheers, BR

#26 The dude on 02.14.13 at 10:17 pm

Ham does exist and has been a major factor related to pricing in Vancouver’s market. To assert otherwise is a complete distortion of the facts on the ground. When I say facts I mean hosting open houses on the west side and elsewhere when 85-95% of entrants are of asian decent with accents mostly. Don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out. What Mac and Co did is appalling and Im not for a second suggesting Vancouver’s Market is in good shape it’s not. I have been telling Clients to hold off while prices correct. On the Sales side I represent the sellers best interests so I put my best foot forward because that what Im contracted to do. Most folks I know who grew up in Van will never own a detached home not because a bunch of rich Canadian’s are bidding up houses but rather external capital inflows put Detached home ownership out of sight for the majority at least in Vancouver proper . Sure friends have the 600 sqf condo’s ect but that’s more like owning a shoe box than a home. Love your blog and agree with most of your opinion’s Garth but the whole Ham does not exist or is over stated is erroneous in nature to say the least.Just because these fools got caught does not mean they don’t exist. Government says they don’t have the exact data but on the contract of purchase and sale there is a section dealing with residency. So the data is there just not reported.

#27 Intrigued on 02.14.13 at 10:21 pm

Cameron Muir, Cam Good, now Cam McNeil of MAC. I’m seeing a pattern here.

#28 Kaganovich on 02.14.13 at 10:23 pm

Devore and the rest of the money creation thread commenters from last post: I think that some are losing sight of the forest for the tree in the way. The significant question in all these debates concerning the origin of money is not so much whether it is created ex nihilo or or whatever, but rather how it is being used, who is in control of where it goes and so forth. That the nation of Canada is being burdened with debt/structural deficits to pay for fighter jets or bailing out banks complicit in a fraudulent real estate ponzi run-up rather than being used for practical investments it’s citizenry and industrial infrastructure to make doing business cheaper for everyone is the salient point IMO. Central banks create money, but just because the majority of this money makes its way to the citizens as private debt via chartered banks doesn’t mean that is the only way it could be employed.

#29 Brico9 on 02.14.13 at 10:26 pm

I agree.

If HAM were real – Gold would be much higher!

#30 Victoria Real Estate Update on 02.14.13 at 10:26 pm

Hello everyone, especially you Victoria people who read this blog. I am a Victoria girl in her 20’s and I am here to share with you what I have learned about the housing market in Victoria.

We were ready and willing to buy a house in Victoria 2-3 years ago until we learned about Victoria’s current housing price bubble and the fact that it was about to correct dramatically.

Realtors and the local real estate board want you to buy a house right now, but now is not the time to buy. How does Victoria’s housing bubble compare to other price bubbles around the world? Well, it is right up there with the biggest bubbles.

Victoria’s price gain from 2000 to the peak in mid 2010 was 147%. That 147% gain is comparable to the gains of the biggest bubble cities in the US that have now crashed. From the year 2000 to peak, Phoenix (+125%), Las Vegas (+135%), San Diego (+150%) and Los Angeles (+175%) were among the cities that experienced the biggest price gains.

Corrections in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas ranged from 45% to more than 65%.

Victoria house prices have already come down some since the peak. In January 2010, the single family home average price in Victoria was $711 K. Last month, that average was down to $535 K, a drop of 25%. Monthly averages are not always the most accurate market price indicator, but facts are facts. The VREB certainly used the monthly average in their reports when house prices were rising, however, they rarely talk about it now that the market has clearly started to decline.

The next time someone tries to convince you that house prices in Victoria are stable, tell them about the 25% average price drop from peak.

The Teranet index shows a smaller price decrease, but it also indicates a weak market.

Many of our friends bought houses in Victoria near the peak. They now owe more on their mortgages than the value of their homes and they are very upset about this. Their realtors told them it was a good time to buy, so they did.

We have already saved a lot of money by renting for the last 2-3 years and will save a lot more in the future as prices continue to drop in Victoria. Our friends think we were smart for not buying.

Let’s take a look at what happened to house prices in Los Angeles. In June 2007, this house was valued at $492 K, but it dropped all the way down to $219 K as the US housing market crashed. It lost 56% of its value. Victoria will experience its own major price correction.

Girls, now is not the time to buy even though you probably want that house more than anything. Buying now will only create financial hardship for you and your family in the future. This happened to millions of families in the US and many other countries around the world as their markets corrected from bubble prices. Buying at or near the peak is never a good idea. Guys, ditto for you. Renting for now as prices continue to decline significantly is a no-brainer.

#31 Fortunate Fool on 02.14.13 at 10:27 pm

Now that MAC got what they deserved, it’s time to go after Cam Good and Key West Marketing who did exactly the same thing in April last year and got away with it:

http://whispersfromtheedgeoftherainforest.blogspot.ca/2012/04/mon-post-2-more-on-latest-cam.html

For those of you who don’t know who Cam Good really is, here is what he has to say about all of you non-homeowners:

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

http://vreaa.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/cam-good-in-the-vancouver-sun-if-you-suffer-from-real-estate-impotence-stop-feeling-sorry-for-yourself-pick-up-the-phone-to-call-a-realtor-or-a-mortgage-broker-real-estate-is-the-best-investmen/

#32 Mr Buyer on 02.14.13 at 10:29 pm

The incredible stench is permeating the entire bubble now. It is an incredible flatulence that can no longer be denied by people trying to ignore it long enough for it to dissipate. Each successive issuance emanating from the source or sources pushes the methane concentration past the tolerable levels into the realm of spontaneous wretching in response. Go ahead and issue more hot putrid air, just make sure it is from within a bio-hazard suit as the victims (did I say that out loud) have now broached the threshold of involuntary response and are in danger of projectile vomiting straight past their conscious selves from deep within where they know everything is not alright. The smell is so bad now that one can no longer remain politely hypnotized as the impulse to flee the polluted room screaming ” Who cut the cheese,” is overwhelming.

#33 Canadian Watchdog on 02.14.13 at 10:32 pm

#13 Bo Xilai

I wouldn’t worry about a $20,000 fine, cause when developers and investors lose their shirts they’re going to take MAC to the cleaners.

Smile for the camera McNeill. Your Hollywood days are over.

And for those wondering why Alberta condo sales are booming, read here.

This company is complete fraud.

#34 Ponzi Scheme on 02.14.13 at 10:37 pm

Vancouver Sun finally got a story out. Made sure to really lay it on thick as to how sorry and incredulously stunned at this turn of events (getting caught) owner Cameron McNeill was.
Last line of the article very telling. “MAC Marketing Solutions has about 100 employees, McNeill said.”

Just a not so subtle nudge of “Hey whats a little creative marketing between friends, eh, remember we are talking about 100 employed British Columbians”

Never mind the consumer who gets duped into a an emotional purchase of a lifetime debt burden and obligation. Hey, its buyer beware. Atlas Shrugged and all that good stuff, eh.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Real+estate+marketing+firm+apologizes+after+employees+posed+apartment+shoppers+from+China/7967841/story.html#ixzz2KvnKzTrg

#35 Mr Buyer on 02.14.13 at 10:39 pm

#26 The dude on 02.14.13 at 10:17 pm
#26 The dude on 02.14.13 at 10:17 pm
Ham does exist and has been a major factor related to pricing in Vancouver’s market.
I put my best foot forward
…………………………………………………………
More hot air. I would love to stay and listen to your practiced lullaby but it gives me great pain to say that you may have stepped in something with that best foot of yours. There has never been enough HAM to drive a market, it is the artful and flatulent inflation of the specter of HAM by vested interests that drove the market ever higher. But how am I supposed to know? The raw data is not readily available to me.

#36 Devore on 02.14.13 at 10:47 pm

CTV and CBC air stories about the fake buyers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbfa2xpu9Aw
http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/BC/ID/2335266634/

#37 gladiator on 02.14.13 at 10:48 pm

Garth, RE market is a marginal one. It is enough for 1 house (out of 10 in a neighborhood) to be bought by HAM at a ridiculous price, and it becomes a benchmark for the whole neighborhood. Now, it will be enough for 1 out of 10 to sell at a reduced price (out of sheer need or desperation), and a whole neighborhood will get dinged. So, I believe that there actually WAS a HAM effect on house prices, but it will fizzle as fast as it bubbled – if not faster, as fear is a stronger emotion than greed, so the way down might be breathtaking for virgins.

#38 claudius emperor on 02.14.13 at 10:48 pm

Tax on stupidity.
The same movie – national treasure is 1.99 at amazon.com (unabe to stream in canada). It is $ 5 at Rogers anyplace + taxes.
Index of stupidy: 2.5. Expect 2.5 times higher house prices in Canada than in US. I am very serious here.

#39 Boombust on 02.14.13 at 10:53 pm

“It should be noted that Michael Campbell has been publishing my work (Plunge-O-Meter and Canadian Housing Price Charts) every month for some time:”

Well! MEGA “CYA mode”!

Well done, Mike!

#40 White Rock Mom on 02.14.13 at 10:54 pm

# 15 Tim you are so right! I’m sorry Garth, Victoria is full of white wrinklies and the Lower Mainland is HAM soup.

#41 Burnt Norton on 02.14.13 at 10:57 pm

Tim you do not get it.

The reason is loose credit and ‘local’ (generally professional couples plus or minus down payment from mommy and daddy) buyers aged 20-40 getting massive, unrepayable mortgages.

Anyone who lives in Van in this age bracket knows the true reason for inflated prices.

#42 The Prophet Elijah on 02.14.13 at 10:58 pm

#26 The dude on 02.14.13 at 10:17 pm

Ham does exist and has been a major factor related to pricing in Vancouver’s market. To assert otherwise is a complete distortion of the facts on the ground. When I say facts I mean hosting open houses on the west side and elsewhere when 85-95% of entrants are of asian decent with accents mostly.
———————————————————
#34 Mr Buyer on 02.14.13 at 10:39 pm

#26 The dude on 02.14.13 at 10:17 pm
#26 The dude on 02.14.13 at 10:17 pm
Ham does exist and has been a major factor related to pricing in Vancouver’s market.
I put my best foot forward
…………………………………………………………
More hot air. I would love to stay and listen to your practiced lullaby but it gives me great pain to say that you may have stepped in something with that best foot of yours. There has never been enough HAM to drive a market, it is the artful and flatulent inflation of the specter of HAM by vested interests that drove the market ever higher. But how am I supposed to know? The raw data is not readily available to me.
——————————————————–
Could there be a middle ground in all this, I can see both sides. On one hand I don’t know how prices can go to $1 million by banks simply lending money to locals with household income of 60K a year, how is it possible to repay, you don’t have to be an underwriter to figure out the math doesn’t add up. Maybe there is HAM to an extent?? We’d have to see the numbers on the “contract of purchase” – can anyone get this?

#43 Mr Buyer on 02.14.13 at 11:03 pm

#42 The Prophet Elijah on 02.14.13 at 10:58 pm
Could there be a middle ground in all this,
…………………………………………………
Hey it doesn’t smell so bad said the guy that did it…

#44 White Rock Mom on 02.14.13 at 11:05 pm

# 24 inglorious Investor I agree with you even about the bovine excrement. When I first saw the MAC piece on the news I thought it was an infomercial. I thought ReMax must be pissed since they sponsor CTV and Global news. Well it was nice to see the top dog at MAC apologize on CTV news tonight. However, it makes you wonder what news is worth paying attention to today.

#45 Ralph Cramdown on 02.14.13 at 11:06 pm

If the price differential saves even one Canadian from watching ‘National Treasure,’ it will have been worth it.

#46 jan on 02.14.13 at 11:08 pm

I thought the media and real estate industry i Van is a BS pumping lying whore and its being proven now,also, my friends are no longer laughing at me because i rent.
Shame on entire Canada for not having a real justice system to deal with these swine !!!!!!

#47 Aussie Roy on 02.14.13 at 11:09 pm

Aussie Update

New Aussie Housing minister calls the bubble a bubble

A fortnight ago, we heard from the Prime Minister Ms Gillard taking about how “many Australians miss those days when they could spend all of their income, see wealth increase through ever-rising house prices, and through easy credit, borrow against the house again to spend more.”

Last Friday, it was the newly appointed Minister for Housing and Homelessness, the honourable Mark Butler’s turn to expand some more on the housing position here in Australia.

“We saw housing price/rent ratio, a measure of true housing value, and the ratio of prices to average incomes soar across the western world, including here in Australia. In the mid part of the last decade, Australian house prices had a rent ratio about 70 per cent higher than their long-term, or their 25-year average. ”

In summing up, Mr Butler said “This is a very important thing that the Australian Government has done, particularly to take advantage of those moderating economic conditions to start to puncture that extraordinary housing affordability crisis that confronted Australia over the last 10 or 15 years. I’m very pleased to be in this Ministry. I see it as an incredibly important contributor to social justice in Australia, but also to economic productivity and prosperity.”

http://markbutler.fahcsia.gov.au/node/15

http://www.whocrashedtheeconomy.com/blog/2013/02/new-housing-minister-doesnt-beat-around-the-bush/

#48 The Prophet Elijah on 02.14.13 at 11:10 pm

Unless Vancouver is the sub-prime mecca of the universe??!?
Million dollar homes on 60k avg salary, really.

#49 Bo Xilai on 02.14.13 at 11:11 pm

Garth, when this story broke yesterday, some of your readers asked you to do a posting on MAC and their deceptive marketing… You wrote:

“Why should I cover a story that I wrote was a scam more than a year ago? This is simply the latest evidence of how HAM never existed as a pervasive market force in Vancouver. I said that back in the ‘yellow helicopter’ days. — Garth”

Why the change of heart?

Popular demand. I can write about puppies if you’d like. — Garth

#50 Ms bboomer on 02.14.13 at 11:14 pm

I hope these lying realtors and company are held fully accountable. My recent house sale involved similar tactics, leaving me with a definite realtor mistrust. I agree with a few other bloggers, that this incident may be the straw that breaks the Camel’s back. It will be interesting watching it all unfold….. I pray for caring to return.

#51 Allanbrad on 02.14.13 at 11:17 pm

I wis HAM was a myth, in central Mississauga they wipe clean anything detached and decently looking. West Presbyterian church parking lot looks like a luxury dealership. Yes, their kids are driving cars most of us can only dream of. I mean you have some well composed thoughts but you are underestimating HAM. In fact I never heard of HAM before, but noticed the phenomena about 2-3 years ago when they started flooding my area. BTW according to stats ham is a highest paid segment of Canadian population. I wish it was a myth.

#52 Realtors laughing on 02.14.13 at 11:18 pm

You people have no idea that realtors from Toronto to vancouver are laughing at everyone who bought houses for 50% more then they are worth. Yes p[rices will crash 50% when all is said and done. JUST LIKE the USA. If you are a buyer in this market without waiting for a 50% frop you are a fool and will be laughed at by realtors.

#53 The myth of HAM — Greater Fool – Authored by Garth Turner – The Troubled Future of Real Estate « The Affluent Boomer™ on 02.14.13 at 11:18 pm

[…] via The myth of HAM — Greater Fool – Authored by Garth Turner – The Troubled Future of Real Estate. […]

#54 Lost Soul on 02.14.13 at 11:20 pm

“The Real Estate Council of B.C. is investigating both MAC Marketing and Cameron McNeill for false/misleading advertising #VanRe”

That sounds like the cops investigating the cops..do not hold your breath on that one! I would suggest Fraud charges are more in order….the RE Industry is a disgrace.

#55 Jsan on 02.14.13 at 11:22 pm

“How is this not a fraud?
These people should be deprived of the right to work in Real Estate and should serve jail time!

Give me a break!
And the media? I am siply speachless. Piece of garbage!”

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

This is Fraud!! And people need to start making some noise about it. We are talking about the outright manipulation of the largest asset market in this country outside of the stock market. If this kind of manipulation was taking place concerning the stock market, there would be large fines and possibly jail time. So why is this blown off in the massive real estate market? A market that effects almost every single Canadian?

Everyone has to start getting involved. Start by going to the CRTC and submit a formal complaint against the media outlets who constantly and oh so willingly carry this garbage with no credibility or fact checking. Point to the Whispers Blog and point out that this is not the first time. Here is the CRTC link.

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/rapidsccm/register.asp?lang=e

I launched a complaint against Global a couple of years ago regarding their “news” coverage of new condo launches which really turns into a sales pitch in my opinion. I got a response from both the CRTC and from Globals regional director. many excuses yadayadayada but my question was how did Global know about and cover a sales lineup at a new condo project out in the boonies early on a Saturday morning unless they were already there ahead of time?

Start writing the news organizations not involved in the coverage and start writing your member of parliament and voice your strong complaints in regards to how some of the media are always such willing partners in crime with the Real Estate industry. Complain about how the Real estate industry runs unchecked in this country and are never held accountable for their non stop manipulation and pumping of the Real Estate market. Let them know that they have to start cracking down hard on what is clearly fraud!!

Everyone has to start getting involved. The squeaky wheel will be heard unfortunately most people just sit on their hands and complain about nothing being done to reign in these fraudulent crooks.

#56 DON on 02.14.13 at 11:26 pm

@18 yel on 02.14.13 at 10:05 pm

RE is always local and when it comes to Calgary my forecast is still the same: comes Feb 2014 it will cost you 8% more to buy a house or an apartment here.
Be aware, logic has very little to do with it.
*************************************
Yah, in the short term prices can rise, but then Albertans will wake up hung over from the decade long party (a little late to the party). There is no way that Alberta will be passed over when other more desirable and richer areas throughout the globe have already corrected.

A sooner of later you run out of potential buyers and at 70% home ownership in Canada, sooner is happening right now. You can only defy logic for so long.

#57 White Rock Mom on 02.14.13 at 11:27 pm

Fear moves markets! I wrote a nice but nasty letter to the owner of a house for sale last year. I wrote I really like their house but it was priced $200,000 out of my budget. A year later their asking price is $400,000 less. However, at $1,400,000 it is still out of my budget. I wonder what their dinner conversation was when they received my letter. :-)

#58 DR. WAYNE on 02.14.13 at 11:27 pm

#2 Nodebt on 02.14.13 at 9:33 pm

Firstttttt on vday!

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

Nope … you’re a consummate a$$hole on vday … how do like them apples …

#59 Fortunate Fool on 02.14.13 at 11:31 pm

Another lie exposed…

The sun is running the story as well, and here is what Tyler Davies, communications officer at the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, said:

“he had never heard of any situation similar to this before, but that as the provincial regulating body for realtors, the council does have the authority to impose fines or to suspend or cancel real estate licences.

“We were alerted to this by another media outlet,” Davies said. “We are aware of it and the real estate council has commenced an investigation into this matter.””

As it turns out, this is another lie. After Global ran the story of the Groupon-like service provided by Key West Marketing, in which Tara Fluet is presented as a “White Rock Investor” where she was in fact a Key West employee (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tara-fluet/1a/347/7b6), a blogger called M submitted a complaint to RECBC, and here is what he says:

“I submitted a complaint about this to RECBC after the episode aired last year. RECBC (the regulatory body for realtors) promptly assigned an investigator to the case, who has never followed up. So even the industry regulator can’t be bothered.”

This industry is clearly rotten!

Here is the video of the story:
http://youtu.be/0p0gayRyBuY

and here is the link to the comment left by “M”:
http://vreaa.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/ctv-tv-news-featured-condo-buyer-actually-a-marketer-of-very-same-condos/#comment-61704

#60 Smoking Man on 02.14.13 at 11:32 pm

DELETED

#61 Kaganovich on 02.14.13 at 11:36 pm

Marketing and Marketers…I believe the late Bill Hicks gave the most appropriate suggestions for what they should do with themselves:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCUOEoPucJ8

#62 Elmer on 02.14.13 at 11:38 pm

LOL @ $20,000

that’s a joke

I have more than that just in my TFSA

#63 The end is nigh on 02.14.13 at 11:39 pm

Garth, I just can’t my head around this.
Here, in Ditchmond, the developers are pretty much using up every square inch building high-rises.
Cranes everywhere.
And you are telling me that the local yokels are buying these overpriced boxes in the foggy skies of Richmond.

#64 Spiltbongwater on 02.14.13 at 11:39 pm

If HAM was not real, then why do all these sellers price with 888 in the listing? Any answers? Didn’t think so. HAM = real

That’s compelling. BTW, the acronym refers to offshore investors, not your neighbours. — Garth

#65 So SORRY on 02.14.13 at 11:50 pm

Im glad I never got sucked into RE lust. All those people who have accumulated all that debt deserve whats coming. I hope to see a 50% correction in Vancouver in the next few years.

#66 TakingResponsibility on 02.14.13 at 11:50 pm

#24 Inglorious Investor on 02.14.13 at 10:17 pm

“Advernews is the business model today.”

….advernews…. Great terminology!! Thanks!

#67 Mr Buyer on 02.14.13 at 11:51 pm

#64 Spiltbongwater on 02.14.13 at 11:39 pm
If HAM was not real, then why do all these sellers price with 888 in the listing? Any answers? Didn’t think so. HAM = real
………………………………………………….
More hot air…(I emanate a great deal of it myself so I know it when I see or hear it)

#68 OwlEyes on 02.14.13 at 11:53 pm

The fallout does not go far enough! I remember on THIS blog reading about another case, was it last year? where an “investor” who was really an employee of our friendly realtor pulled one over on a major network. And look at this account where the network’s representative grew indignant when someone dared complain!

http://whispersfromtheedgeoftherainforest.blogspot.ca/

#69 Fleabitten Monkey on 02.14.13 at 11:55 pm

#41 Burnt Norton,
Agree, crazy that 30 something couples making $100K-$200K per year actually have to have their folks put 6 figure downs on their behalf so they can own real estate in Vancouver even in Victoria. If that is not an indication of something being way out of whack I don’t know what is. Crazier still is that their folks are oft professionals who have the means to finance their kids yet they have seemingly no smarts to know where this is going.

#70 squidly77 on 02.14.13 at 11:58 pm

The REIC are being watched.

I suspect many allegations will arise in the next while and with each one the suspicions will grow.

I challenge all bloggers to google condo projects that the developer and media reported as being sold out in 1 day, to do some research. Pick any condo project by name in any city and research that project.

I know what it will turn up. Here in Calgary many, many projects were claimed to have all sold in 1 day, however years later the developer is still flogging new un-sold unit.

Please post your findings to any blog-site. They will be found. You can start with the Sovereign condo project in Victoria.

Remember this, don’t be CONned-DOpe.
—————
The only HAM I have ever saw, was the pink stuff I put in sandwiches.

The Watchdog put up such a good photo today, that I must re-post it.
This just in, ravaged buyers of condos are in a fever pitch to reach Toronto and buy condos, anywhere for any amount–CCE News reports.

#71 squidly77 on 02.15.13 at 12:01 am

Residents of the Big Smoke, if you hear an unusual amount of chopper activity tonight, you will know that the HAM have arrived.

#72 DA why don't you mention all the foreclosures in Kelowna too! on 02.15.13 at 12:04 am

#55 Jsan on 02.14.13 at 11:22 pm

I’m in total agreement with you Jsan.

Write CBC and CTV news. Let them know how disappointed you are with their shameful reporting; no fact checking what so ever! That’s journalism 101; trust, but verify.

Write the CRTC and also write the Competition Bureau at http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca

Write the fraud squads for the RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department pressure them to investigate this blatant attempt at market manipulation and fraud.

Write the Real Estate Council of British Columbia let them know how you feel about MAC Marketing Solutions and their unethical business processes

Write your local MP, Senator and MLA concerning this fraud.

Get involved, I have, otherwise nothing ever changes. Only your voice makes the difference.

#73 squidly77 on 02.15.13 at 12:05 am

On such a day, the Watchdogs photo grab would be very suitable to headline tonights post.

#74 squidly77 on 02.15.13 at 12:07 am

I see 9 airborne yellow copters and 2 yellow ones grounded.

#75 Solex on 02.15.13 at 12:09 am

Hey Burton, where do you get off thinking all 20 somethings rely on mommy and daddy for their down payments? ?

I find that to be a massive insult. 29 and fully independent. I am also an immigrant. Go figure.

#76 Devore on 02.15.13 at 12:16 am

#64 Spiltbongwater

Is this what passes for logic these days?

The 8s in listings prove HAM is irrelevant; if they existed, they would be outraged at being treated like children or superstitious savages by the locals, who believe they will blindly buy anything with an 8 in it.

If you really believe in HAM and power of 8, you would have hundreds of sales to show us with SALE prices full of 8s, but in fact this is not the case.

Sellers price with 888 in the listing because they believe in HAM. This proves nothing except people are gullible.

#77 Dr House on 02.15.13 at 12:20 am

#38 claudius emperor on 02.14.13 at 10:48 pm

Tax on stupidity.
The same movie – national treasure is 1.99 at amazon.com (unabe to stream in canada). It is $ 5 at Rogers anyplace + taxes.
Index of stupidy: 2.5. Expect 2.5 times higher house prices in Canada than in US. I am very serious here.

The International Monetary Fund, in its annual report on Canada, also said the country’s currency was between 5 and 15% higher than warranted by long-term economic fundamentals, lifted in part by commodity prices and the country’s safe-haven status for investors.

#78 AprilNewwest on 02.15.13 at 12:22 am

#34 Ponzi scheme – Agree with you … a phony apology and pretending he wasn’t aware of it.

#79 fred munster on 02.15.13 at 12:25 am

Canada’s high home prices and debt levels bear watching, IMF says

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/02/14/imf-housing-vulnerable.html

#80 Canadian Watchdog on 02.15.13 at 12:27 am

#59 Fortunate Fool

RECBC won’t do much or just slap them on the hand. If people want to complain go here.

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/h_03167.html
http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/eng/resources/lodgeComplaint/index-eng.asp

People can blog and tweet all they want; nothing will happen until demand for action is taken.

Watch how the Swiss do it: Fat-Cat Pay Makes Swiss So Mad Wages Face National Vote

#81 Canadian Housing Inc (CH Inc) on 02.15.13 at 12:35 am

#27Intrigued on 02.14.13 at 10:21 pm
Cameron Muir, Cam Good, now Cam McNeil of MAC. I’m seeing a pattern here.
+++++
I see it. CAM = Canadian Amateur Mockery … these are not professionals doing a contemptuous disservice to the community.

There is no HAM. There is no Chinese New Year buying. It’s all a hoax. It has been a very Serious Canadian Amateur Mockery – SCAM!

#82 brainsail on 02.15.13 at 12:38 am

Garth, stay the course you are on. No matter how much the winds and currents challenge the voyage to your destination port, Canadians need to know!

#83 oh oh on 02.15.13 at 12:39 am

Great news like Scameron getting busted is only going to accelerate falling RE prices, 2013 looks real ugly if you want to unload properties. Happy Valentine Garth

#84 PeterfromCalgary on 02.15.13 at 12:39 am

I watched the CBC video here:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/ID/2333674031/

What struck me is how good these women are at lying.

#85 The dude on 02.15.13 at 12:51 am

Re mr Buyer Comments
where are you from ?
If your from Van how long have you lived there?
Look at average household income for the province needed to fiancee the average detached home in Vancouver area? Anywhere from 10-1 to 11-1 times annual income. Locals don’t get loan approval with those metrics. Back to basics my friend. Oh by the way what do you do for a living that qualifies you to comment on who’s buying what. Of-coarse Im a Realtor just like the rest of them so I must be full of it right. Perhaps the data is not provided so as to not upset the local population that is priced out.

#86 PeterfromCalgary on 02.15.13 at 12:56 am

In the stock market they call this pump and dump and people who are caught doing it go to jail as this news release from the US deparment of Justice shows.

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/October/10-crm-1232.html

#87 An Additional Vancouverite on 02.15.13 at 1:01 am

One more Vancouverite to add to the tally of commentors today who are testifying that HAM is real. It may be overrepresented at times, but it’s definitely here. It has an increasingly strong footprint in my area, which is Marpole.

#88 blase on 02.15.13 at 1:01 am

Hey Garth,

Have you ever talked about calculating duration and if/how it relates to the housing market in Canada and the low interest rate environment? I would think with the exceptionally long mortgage terms and the exceptionally low interest rates, this would be a huge cause of concern to the Bank of Canada.

#89 Burnt Norton on 02.15.13 at 1:09 am

Uh, Solex, read my post again carefully. See where it says “plus or minus”?

Unfortunately, your post gives away your apparent insecurity. My condolences.

#90 DR. WAYNE on 02.15.13 at 1:14 am

These antics of realtors, which are JUST short of criminal action (I think), are what makes gobs of money of some. My feeling is that IF people are that stupid that they become willing participants in shady schemes like this without due study, consultation, investigation … all the more power to the shysters … GO GET’EM !!! Suckers like this deserve what they lose.

Given some of the posts on this blog and following happenings in the news on investments and failures, there is an over abundance of ignorance to fill the coffers of those with minimal integrity. I suspect one of the reasons this blog is so successful, is that there is no bull shit in the advice given.

#91 Freedom First on 02.15.13 at 1:18 am

……..to greed, fraud, and fakery. Garth, so true, and so kindly put too, as the words to use to perfectly describe the character of the unethical are not fit to print, and you are much to classy to demean yourself to the guilty.

Sadly, there is so many victims of the unethical, and worldwide too. Amazingly, what level of education people have, or profession, or income, these have nothing to do with financial literacy, and most certainly offers little consumer protection. Ignorance is not bliss. It is deadly. Not being melodramatic at all. It is the truth.

Garth, thank you for exposing the criminals for years. You are a brave man, and I know you have made some powerful enemies. But even better, your blog is being referred to internationally, and that is because you speak the truth. Sadly, you have people who regularly attack you on your blog, and you even print this nonsense. Good for you! And I do shudder, at the amount, and type of hate mail you receive, some of it which you share with us. Evil hates the good. Thank God for karma:)

#92 Grooby on 02.15.13 at 1:18 am

Always a bit depressing in the comments section when the day’s post references H.A.M. .
I didn’t realise Canada was exclusively the preserve of Anglo-Saxons.
Unless people can read minds like Charles Xavier, I would think the only way to know if an Asian at a house opening is H.A.M. is by checking passports. Considering Vancouver is 28% East Asian, it’s best to assume ‘not-HAM’ than otherwise.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Vancouver

#93 The Other Dude on 02.15.13 at 1:25 am

Wow, look at that graph. You’ve been predicting a 15-30% price correction for Vancouver since as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, if that were to occur prices will still only be touching 2008 levels, the time when you said it was a bad time to buy. Amazing how you underestimated the supposed “dead-cat bounce” in ’08. Now with interest rates staying at all time lows for a very long time (see Japan), the only way to homeownership for many young people will be with huge mortgages and nothing to show for it but a shoebox in the sky. You merely get less of everything now, most notably, space. Sad to see an entire generation left with the thought of looking for opportunity outside of Canada. Cheap credit is here to stay for a long time and with it comes huge principals. Wages will rise only once the boomers leave the workforce. The working class will only save money when there is a labor shortage. What we are seeing is a transition to a rentier economy in Canada where old money rules. Home ownership now simply means no capital gains for the foreseeable future. The only question I have is what sector is next to show big gains? Health Care? Insurance? American Banks? Technology? Where will all that real estate money go?

#94 juno on 02.15.13 at 1:29 am

You know I don’t feel sorry for anyone. All you have to do is open your eyes.

Of all the recently sold houses in the past 3 years, how many of them were actually HAM. If they were actually rich HAM the wife will maintain the house with kids, benefitting from our education and health system. The Husband would be working in Singapore, China or HK.
Personally I only know of two. But they have been here in Canada for over 15 years and their husband hardly comes back to visit. Usually they fly out of Canada.

I work with People from Russian, China and India on work permits. All of them bitch and complain about “you can’t get rich in Canada taxes are way too high” and too much government.

I actually find it Racist how the media stereotypes ever Chinese person is from China and assume they are rich. That like saying, Hey buddy I see your “Fresh Off the Boat” FOB.

Yes the rich ones are rich, because there is no middle class in that country. Its the HAVEs and the Have Not.

I only wish the Media actually did their job, but its the mighty dollar which dictates what make news and what doesn’t!

#95 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.15.13 at 1:34 am


“So CTV and CBC aired false reports based on fraudulent statements. What a fitting symbol of what’s going on. She crossed the ethical line last week when the company tried to (once again) milk the incredibly lazy, gullible and bush-league Van television media. So two years ago this pathetic blog arrived at the conclusion that HAM is as fake as MAC, The Key, Cam Good and the miscehievous little Amanda.”

The above-named individuals, incl. Brad Lamb and many others are no more than talking heads the those above them. They do a very good job at milking dumb-assed sheeple, then when the ponzi begins cratering (as it did with Nortel, Bre-X etc.), they quietly walk away from the mess they helped create, profiting handsomely and leaving farm hands to clean the pig sty up. Sheeple will never learn.

#28 Kaganovich — “. . . but rather how it is being used, who is in control of where it goes and so forth.” — And now you realize why the m$m has zero credibility. It’s controlled. There is no such thing as a free press anymore.
*
TPTB (the elite) and why they would lose a civil war; Germany – UK I wonder why. There has to be something in it for Germany; UK Three more years; Sudden and rapid fall since January; Trump Plaza flogged; Heinz Ketchup Buffett is salivating over you; US Banks don’t like Euro’s taxes, but America has their own global torture team; Patents let big-ag., Monsanto create stuff for themselves; Presenting “How the pros drive stock prices up or down.”; Soros and Bacon cut gold; 4closure filings drop; Virtual Currencies vs, Central banks; Desalination Booms as water dries up; Auntie Beeb lawsuit First one over Jimmy Savile.
*
6:49 clip WW2 clip. An ME109 was supposed to shoot down a US B17. Instead, he escorted it out; Cheating Humans and apes have a lot more in common than previously thought; Dr. Who, like James Bond is 50; Tomorrow’s asteroid event A fine way to complete the week; 0:30 clip She might / might not be Cdn., but this is sure strange; Smooth Burger No horsemeat plus big and tall; Refusing Smart Meters Just say no; 6:02 clip New star shouldn’t be there; Art Paintings look like pix, they are so good; Nice boat Roman Abramovich’s (oligarch) berths in Manhattan; Obomba, with the help of DHS is quickly removing the amendments; Pope’s Immunity? If he is asking for it, then he has done something wrong. One way or the other, he will get back exactly what he put out; Japan First strke capability?

#96 Kilby on 02.15.13 at 2:03 am

#30 Victoria Real Estate Update on 02.14.13 at 10:26 pm
Hello everyone, especially you Victoria people who read this blog. I am a Victoria girl in her 20′s and I am here to share with you what I have learned about the housing market in Victoria.
====================================

This is looking a bit familiar?????

#97 Todd on 02.15.13 at 2:05 am

It’s really unfortunate that this was allowed to escalate to this level. Besides the speculators, who might be more accustomed to risk, regular, everyday people go caught up in the hype and their families will now potentially suffer with underwater mortgages and drastically reduce standard of living.

No one told them to buy high, or buy beyond their means. But no one told them not to. And the pressure from media in Vancouver who, to the common person, represents authority, was to buy in a time when buying was probably one of the worst financial moves they could make.

Good on you Garth for helping to expose real and correct information for consumers.

#98 Patiently Waiting on 02.15.13 at 2:12 am

#70squidly77 on 02.14.13 at 11:58 pm
The REIC are being watched.

I suspect many allegations will arise in the next while and with each one the suspicions will grow.

I challenge all bloggers to google condo projects that the developer and media reported as being sold out in 1 day, to do some research. Pick any condo project by name in any city and research that project.

I know what it will turn up. Here in Calgary many, many projects were claimed to have all sold in 1 day, however years later the developer is still flogging new un-sold unit.
====================================

In the early part of my career I worked for a developer who built highrise condos. I was asked (err told) to buy a unit on occasion to help with pre-sales in order to get financing. They also played games with the units that were marked off as sold on the sales sheets given to potential buyers, as many were marked sold that were not …

pw

#99 Miko on 02.15.13 at 2:18 am

“Cameron McNeill, the head of MAC Marketing Solutions admits the story was a fake and says sorry. But McNeil says just how the incident happened may never be solved.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/02/14/bc-mac-marketeting-solutions-deception.html

you have got to be kidding me..

#100 MainStreamMedia on 02.15.13 at 2:22 am

Uhhhh…Duhhhh

Whats this about the Titanic ?…..Who freed the slaves?….when did the War of 1812 occur ?…whats this Internet thingy Nostradamus predicted?

Thanks

#101 Patiently Waiting on 02.15.13 at 2:26 am

FYI: Sales of Single Family Homes in the Fraser Valley are down by 58% so far this year as compared to 2012.

2012 Sales (of SFH’s Jan. 1st to Feb. 14th) was 919
2013 Sales ” ” 532

White Rock SFH sales are slightly worse at 63% below last years numbers. (2012 132 vs 2013 48).

#102 Gunboat denier on 02.15.13 at 2:38 am

102 Steve from last blog – your mortgage is “up” at a certain date, so your investments must be “up” (in
value) at that time, after tax, but an amount greater than
the compounded interest on the mortgage over that
period.

And you cant guarantee that. But feel free to bet the house…..

#103 Uwinsome on 02.15.13 at 2:53 am

Ask BOB RENNIE and all his team about DR. KO!

At all of the Rennie marketed condo Projects, the mysterious Dr. KO (Asian and completely fictitious) buys a large swath of condos that are behind those “SOLD” stickers even when the Sales and Display suite just moments ago opened for the first time.

#104 Ziggy on 02.15.13 at 3:00 am

These girls have done a bad thing but it must be devastating for them to become the face of a systemic problem involving marketing companies, academics, real estate professionals and real estate boards that spins the facts.

Hopefully, they can pick themselves up and move on to better things. Bad management and leadership can create a culture that can makes ordinary people do horrible things.

I’m not justifying what they did, I’m just saying at the end of the day, they’re human beings too. Let’s not take joy in tearing them apart but let’s make sure the real problems get addressed.

#105 Buy? Curious? on 02.15.13 at 3:04 am

The media is so blatantly bad! They’ve lost all creditability. It’s where the truth goes to die. I hope they sue those rats at MAC and other condo developers. How’s that Olympic Village doing? What about the nerd capital of Toronto, Liberty Village? Nerddddddssssss!

#106 len on 02.15.13 at 3:11 am

Hi all,

Whocodonode? The MSM is verifiably a laughing stock!

Anyways, in another news from the department of creative accounting: Poseidon Concepts. So….the analysts, you know – the guys that get paid to closely track companies – have no idea that the numbers are fake. Whocodonode? Fraud and ponzi is rampant in the companies that are part of the stock market – shocking.

Nevermind, buy some REITs because, while ponzi schemes of new financing paying out dividends, will colapse in the end, you will make a killing (5%?) in the meantime and def. make it to the exits in time! Hahahah what a century we live in! I love it.

#107 Dad on 02.15.13 at 3:14 am

Love the leth namedrop. Bought a house here 8 years ago for 200k, 4 bedrooms, triple garage, corner lot, old trees and fantastic landscape. Nobody buys a house here except to live in it. Can live comfortably in this little place on 3k a month. How? We bargain shop, we fix our own stuff, and we cook.

#108 Mic D'angelo on 02.15.13 at 3:14 am

If you look at the correlation between every 1% drop in fixed mortgage rates or variable mortgage rates and real estate prices there is no doubt of the tremendous market manipulation that happened. For example, in 1994 5 year fixed rate mortgage rates were about 10.25% to 10.75%.

I remember that my friend in east part of Toronto East York said a 1400 square foot semi-detached one garage double driveway with 40 foot by 165 foot lot on his street was $199,000 .He got his property assessment from MPAC 10 weeks ago and the same house on his street that is very similar to his house was assessed at $412,000 January-1-2012.

Bond yields declined and so did 5 year fixed mortgage rates from 10.25% to 2.99% for 1994 to 2013. I know location, demand and supply, immigration inflows and outflows in certain cities, local job market, wage levels and inflation are have affect real estate prices. The main driver of increasing real estate prices was the collapse in fixed mortgage rates.

For every 1% point decline in fixed mortgage rates in this example, it raised prices probably by $29,338. I know that you must take inflation into account over the last 19 years so I would say about 50% or $14,670 artificially boosted real estate prices .Basically, if mortgage rates did not drop so much the East York house would of been worth maximum $300,000 to $315,000.

#109 Robins on 02.15.13 at 3:26 am

Amanda is the one using her real name and hardly say a word throughout, and is now getting all the rap on the knuckles. Who is this fake ID, “Christine Lee” who was delivering the prima donna role? Does she not have a legal name, such as Rebecca Wan or Chris Kim? IMO, they owe the public an apology.

#110 ApplePi on 02.15.13 at 3:26 am

TO those that believe the HAM myth, check out http://peoplemov.in. You’ll see stats on how much immigration Canada has. When 20% of your country are immigrants, and a LARGE percentage of them from China and other Asian countries, you have a huge sector of the population who are originally FROM China, but living on Canadian wages.

The majority of immigrants from China live in basement suites in East Vancouver.

How did people buy $1M houses on meager salaries? Low interest rates, irresponsible lending, and taxpayer guaranteed, thanks to the CMHC.

#111 Buy? Curious? on 02.15.13 at 3:48 am

Let’s start a “Buyer’s Strike”! We can start here and spread the word. No Home buying for 1 year! It will be like the Occupy Wall Street movement but from the warmth and comfort of our present home with less chance of a cop bashing you with a baton or pepper spraying you. Your Apathy and Procrastination are the agents of change! You could bring an entire industry to its knees and I don’t mean like that realtor in Calgary featured here a few days back. Let’s Party! Garth can be our Che Guevera! I’ll start printing up t-shirts with Garth’s imagine on it!

The disdain that some Canadians have against Asians should be directed to the Real Estate industry.

#112 kansai92 on 02.15.13 at 4:16 am

I’m super upset that only MAC got called out for this fraudulent piece of work.
Why is the media letting Cam Good off the hook when he did the exact same thing in that helicopter stunt?

#113 kansai92 on 02.15.13 at 4:20 am

What’s the deal with all these guys named Cam?
Cam Good/Cam McNeill/Cam Muir
Sheesh.

#114 Dan on 02.15.13 at 5:39 am

……..I buy tree,…my husband buy tree, (remember that little beauty,what, a few years gone by). Oh the condo presale lineups! then they break for a commercial…..brought to you by Re/max. What seems like ages ago, wife and I bought a condo in North vancouver,which we sold a short two years later, for more than double. Shortly later we bought a townhouse, which we reno’d (all my (our)) labor, and sold again for a nice profit. We’ve been renting ever since,much to her
chagrin,but for the life of me I don’t understand why,she knows my logic for selling when we did….its the time-frame,ie its taking too long to correct , thats what she’s thinking.
Anyways, its good to see these re/pukes finally in desparation, shoot themselves in the foot, I think the accellerator has been pushed. I personally witnessed two large capital gains in a unreallistic time frame to the point that I thought this can’t go on, but alas it has, and I have been saying so for at least 10 yrs. At least I’ve got something to show for it though.

………50 % ++ sale is in store for Vancouver, god I never thought I’d say that.

#115 Tony on 02.15.13 at 5:47 am

DELETED

#116 Tony on 02.15.13 at 5:56 am

Re: #56 DON on 02.14.13 at 11:26 pm

Until we find out the prices have fallen 8 percent next year. Still that might be a little low since the rest of Canada should fall about 15 percent. The odds of real estate rising 8 percent or more in Calgary next year are zilch.

#117 Buy? Curious? on 02.15.13 at 6:30 am

Last post of the morning but this is typical Canadian thinking when they see Asians pulling up to an Open House in a limo.

“You’re so wrong, my simple Canadians. So wrong.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li3WZXMJaH0&feature=player_embedded

#118 Thinker on 02.15.13 at 7:09 am

Your graph actually shows that detached houses are below the historical ratio. Take detached and divide it by apartments or the other line. Suddenly you see that things are not as crazy. It doesn’t dilute your point, but we should not ignore that in 1955 houses were double apartments. Today they are not

#119 Tony Right on 02.15.13 at 8:28 am

Like sheeps to the slaughter. I’ll have rack of lamb, please.

#120 mark on 02.15.13 at 8:36 am

Did anyone call Tsur Somerville for a quote? He’d probably say this never happened.

#121 Kevin on 02.15.13 at 8:39 am

“And how could we forget the fake lineups in places like Burnaby? People (Asians, preferably) were offered money, plus lawn chairs, portable heaters, food and porta-potties to camp out in from of a sales centre for 24 hours prior to opening.

I do remember those stories, but I don’t recall ever seeing any evidence that those people were being paid by the developers. The explanations I read said they were being paid by actual, interested buyers, who simply couldn’t afford the time to stand around in line a day in advance, so enterprising 99-percenters with nothing better to do advertised themselves on Craigslist as placeholders in line for a few bucks.

Was there ever a shred of evidence that even one single paid person in line was there at the behest of the developer?

#122 Em. D. on 02.15.13 at 8:43 am

Blah, blah, blah… same shit every day, nothing new, no substance, no facts. Detached home prices in GTA and everywhere (except Van) keep going up. People who are listening to you, will regret doing so. Nobody gives a shit about 600 sq.ft. condos, who can raise a family in them? But detached house prices will not likely budge. All you do is give false hope to houseless, you self righteous, know it all arrogant and selfish prick.

That’s a winning argument. — Garth

#123 JustTryingToProtectEquity on 02.15.13 at 8:54 am

I want to know who Whazzup is.

#124 Jaguar on 02.15.13 at 9:15 am

Calgary immune from the correction? Typical cowboy arrogance. ‘It’s different here’, on full display. Meanwhile there is a 15 month supply (listings) in the big luxury acreage home market in the city.

#125 DR. WAYNE on 02.15.13 at 9:17 am

Looks like the ‘sister’ could be in deep sh++ …

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/02/14/bc-mac-marketeting-solutions-deception.html?autoplay=true

#126 maxx on 02.15.13 at 9:20 am

#13 Bo Xilai on 02.14.13 at 9:59 pm

“MAC/McNeill face having their licenses to sell real estate suspended and/or fines of up to $20,000 #VanRe

The Real Estate Council of B.C. is investigating both MAC Marketing and Cameron McNeill for false/misleading advertising #VanRe”

I’ll be gobsmacked if appropriate punishment is meted out. The ones cited above are a joke. We live in an age where accounting has evolved to a high art. Surely some of this actuarial brilliance can be brought to bear on what these acts have cost the public and the punishment/fines adjusted accordingly.

We are truly living in the Wild West and NO THING is being done to prevent this type of deception. Lots and lots of palaver about regulation and tightening….all the while, people are trashing their future wealth through RE industry-induced fear.

#127 Axxman on 02.15.13 at 9:23 am

I notice odd things happening on MLS in the last month when you search on “recent listings”. Like today, Many new listings come up in Burlington/Oakville but almost none in the entire GTA. Could it be that because the mid-month numbers are set tonight that they have conveniently stuffed the new listings in a drawer to improve the mid-month results? – “look – there is still a shortage of inventory”. Who audits these people?

#128 fancy_pants on 02.15.13 at 9:28 am

#120 Kevin on 02.15.13 at 8:39 am

Is there any evidence Cooke was malicious in cutting Karlsson’s achilles?

just like OJ Simpson – the developers and RE cartels are all squeaky clean in Van.

Motive always remains in the dark for fear of the light.

#129 TurnerNation on 02.15.13 at 9:34 am

People badmouthing the civil servants are not doing so of the front-line responders. It’s the legions of backroom, unelected, sunshine list, nepotism drenched managers, consultants and ringers who are in the cross hairs.
See: E-health, Ontatio’s ORGNE scandal, no-bid contacts.

#130 CTV TV News Featured ‘Condo Buyers’ Actually Marketers Of Very Same Condos! | Vancouver Real Estate Anecdote Archive on 02.15.13 at 10:40 am

[…] – Annotated image linked by Canadian Watchdog at greaterfool.ca 14 Feb 2013 10:32pm […]

#131 Dean on 02.15.13 at 10:42 am

#3 Eric

Yes, your 15% price adjustment forecast is way too short.

If only 15% price adjustment, than it defeats the purpose of waiting on the sideline, price has increased more than 30% in the last couple years

#132 Buy? Curious? on 02.15.13 at 10:45 am

I’m still shocked at how indifferent Canadians are about this outright scam! It’s playing out in front of them, in real time, without the usual media filter. Shouldn’t some media ombudsman be calming people who bought a condo $100k OVER what they’re worth? They should be storming into the developer’s office demanding a rebate!

But then again, THIS IS Canada. What will happen is that they’ll look for someone to blame (That Mathew Black should get a job in teaching), then they’ll be some inquiry and maybe a fine, of course in 10years time.

Bravo, Canadians. *sarcastic clapping* Bravo.

#133 TnT on 02.15.13 at 10:51 am

#55 Jsan on 02.14.13 at 11:22 pm

Here is the CRTC link.
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/rapidsccm/register.asp?lang=e

*************
Thanks – I posted my concerns regarding our NEWS being manipulated by companies.

Reply from CRTC

*************
Thank you for your message
This is your reference number: XXXXXX
Thank you for contacting the CRTC. If a further response is required, we will contact you within 10 working days.

If your request is urgent (for example, if it involves the disconnection of your telephone service) please contact CRTC Client Services toll-free at 1-877-249-2782 and provide the Reference Number. If you use a TDD, you can reach us toll-free at 1-877-909-2782.

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

I urge others to do the same:

Here is the CRTC link.
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/rapidsccm/register.asp?lang=e

#134 TorontoBull on 02.15.13 at 10:56 am

“Ninety per cent of buyers are locals. Blame them. — Garth”
absolutely true, BUT changes happen at the margin!

#135 The real Kip on 02.15.13 at 10:59 am

I watched Hot Property last night and Ann Rohmer asked the panel of experts if they thought Toronto’s condo market was in trouble. No, was the universal response. So there ya have it, it’s official.

You should go on Hot Property as a special guest star Garth.

#136 Purple on 02.15.13 at 11:13 am

It makes me sick. This happens all the time. Media people are lazy. They don’t do their homework before airing garbage like this.

Don’t forget, many reporters, anchors, journalists and the media suits “own” real estate. They won’t report the truth because they have a vested interest. Shameful.

Looked at new listings this morning in Van. Prices are still high for junk but not much has moved in months. Same listings are showing up with pathetic price reductions i.e. $10,000. Rents are stupid high as well. Greed is thriving in wet Vancouver. It’s raining, again! I’m starting to really hate this place.

#137 afraidit allmightend on 02.15.13 at 11:15 am

This isn’t just sleaze…it’s fraud……what else can you call such obvious deception…..MAC should be fined heavily….but will the consumer protection laws apply…probably not…..why haven’t the local stations apologized…..because they have been complicit in the whole RE fraud stat game from the beginning….for the ad dollars that industry has thrown at them for their silence.

Garth…..this thing you try to do to keep the masses from reacting against immigrant buyers is also false and quite politically motivated I’m sure. Its obvious we have had streams of HAM snapping up properties…I have dealt with these people myself. Why you think keeping Canadians ignorant for the sake of your parties social engineering aspirations to assign voting blocs that skew true opinion is highly questionable.

Of course there are offshore buyers. But it is false to blame them for price inflation. We did that to ourselves. — Garth

#138 Astronaut down on 02.15.13 at 11:17 am

The people may have done it to themselves but not without help. They were manipulated by the RE cartels and marketing firms. And like G-Turn keeps baying, don’t forget the banks and politicians.

In other news, an Etobicoke bungalow I had my eye on was snatched up in a bidding war on Tue by the greatest fool, outbidding four others. What’s that you say, G-Turn, Buyer’s Market? Correction? in TO?…rrrrrright.

Nervous?
Yes.
First time?
No, I’ve been nervous lots of times.

Over & Out

#139 Regan on 02.15.13 at 11:19 am

I grew up in Vancouver and will agree that there are definitely Asian people there; have been in large numbers since the railroad building and Pacific trade routes were established. Recent immigrants from across Asia often come in through Canada’s business investment strategy and bring money, family and an intact community. They also bring a large part of Vancouver’s wealth and growth. This is why, when they are faking an invasion of hot money, they pretend it’s from China, as opposed to, say, Norway – it wouldn’t make as much sense. You’re still being conned because if it really was a phenomenon driving the market, they wouldn’t have to stage the publicity.
It’s racist for whites who want to live in a growing city on a major trade route still find a way to blame the ethnic populations sharing the city for all their housing problems. These media stunts fan those flames. I didn’t really notice it how I was being manipulated, to be honest, until I moved to Toronto where half the social problems are laid at the feet of largely-female Caribbean immigrants, who are brought here often as maids, nannies and cheap health care assistants, and then their families lead financially-unstable lives due to that low pay. Rich immigrants or impoverished immigrants, it doesn’t matter. You can blame all kinds of problems on them and avoid it for yourself – instead of… poorly planned immigration policies? excessive lending policies? unethical marketing? watching too much tv and letting yourself get conned because of some latent biases?

#140 Keith in Calgary on 02.15.13 at 11:37 am

In regards to whether or not RE developers paid shills to create fake line ups, there was a Craigslist ad in YVR looking for people to do just that. The ad was posted on Condo Hype or VREAA over a year or so ago, and the phone number that was listed went straight to a RE developers office.

What is even more interesting here besides the complicit ass covering taking place between the criminals in government, the regulatory authorities, and the “REIC” themselves, is the fact that in this story, as in a few others as of late, the “OLD” and thankfully dying media is reacting to the blogosphere now…….truly a tipping point.

FWIW my “news” is not drawn from TV or print, but rather from online sources…..none of them the old school outlets….been that way for a few years now.

#141 Goldfinger on 02.15.13 at 11:38 am

#112 all the scammers are named Cameron or Cam…beware….oh and add Remax to that list lol !

#142 IM in C on 02.15.13 at 11:40 am

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-13/swiss-property-bubble-concern-seen-prompting-tightening.html?source=Patrick.net
Saw this article. Will this be what Canadian regulators to to the Canadian Banks in the next year

#143 rapier wit on 02.15.13 at 11:43 am

This came across my electronic desk this morning. Imagine my chagrin when I went to vote and noticed that The Greater Fool was not listed.

I think that a write-in campaign is warranted. Let’s go Dogs.

http://www.modestmoney.com/top-canadian-finance-blogs-2013/

#144 Mister Obvious on 02.15.13 at 11:47 am

#125 maxx

“We are truly living in the Wild West and NO THING is being done to prevent this type of deception.

——————————–
What about this blog?

#145 jess on 02.15.13 at 11:47 am

the new class system? arrestable /unarrestable class.

the OFAC-laundry list
17,000 alerts of suspicious activity

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/gangster-bankers-too-big-to-jail-20130214

#146 lawboy on 02.15.13 at 11:52 am

Re fake buyers, fake lineups.

Nothing new, and nothing unique to RE marketing. Whenever a new electronic gadget is coming to market, there are paid plants in the lineups, to give nice concise quotes to the media, while looking fab. The media loves it because it’s a cheap, feel good story and the dullard masses eat it up too.

#147 Doomandgloomer on 02.15.13 at 11:55 am

It was a good call to refresh everyone’s memory about the HAM scam, and how real estate marketing in general is highly devious and manipulative. You have a lot of new blog followers who may not have known about your previous coverage of this scandal. Real estate purchasing decisions are unfortunately primarily driven by emotion, so the tactics by these marketers to create false hype, panic, and hysteria among their prospective targets serves to further fuel the predisposition for emotional based illogical decision making. The HAM SCAM and the MAC ATTACK are beautiful examples of what levels of deceit the real estate industry wil stoop to. They make automobile dealers look like saints. Advice to home buyers: calm down, cool it, and never believe the agents when they tell you that you better “act fast”. The retailer who tells you you’re lucky because “he only has one left” is always lying! When making large value purchases, use your mind, not your heart. These scammer marketers should be shut down NOW, and a warning issued to all agents, real estate boards, and associated agencies that stiff penalties will apply. I just love it when Garth can sit back, smile, and enjoy an “I told you so” moment!

#148 ozy - common knowledge on 02.15.13 at 12:05 pm

It is common knowledge that in GTA, 50% are immigrants – true? Right.

If someone lives in C15, C14, Richmond Hill, Thornhill or Markham, can attest the 50% becomes 75% -true? Right.

Nothing to be ashamed of, so no need to lie, admit it this is a positive factor that supports houses prices (and raised them through the roof as well) and hopefully raises the spiritual level of an otherwise greedy materialistic cold-blodded post-collonial kanatian ethnic-enclavized society (a.k.a. shamefull for XXI century).

#149 HalifaxEd on 02.15.13 at 12:15 pm

Just about a year ago, the CBC was pimping the Halifax market as “hot” and saying “bidding wars are back”, all based on the sale of one house on one street selling in one day for 15% over asking.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/03/07/ns-real-estate-sales.html

“It’s the perfect place to live…but there’s something missing here,” said reporter Rob Gordon, “and that’s the For Sale signs.”

That’s because at the time this report was filed, there were hardly any other houses for sale on that street. A look at Viewpoint seemed to suggest that the “bidding wars” in this neighborhood were limited to this one property (6254 Allan Street, btw).

But don’t let that stop CBC from taking whatever realtors tell them as gospel and from pimping dusty developments like the Trillium on South Park Street and Kings Wharf in Dartmouth. When the developer needs free marketing, he just calls the local CBC and they come running. Hell, Gordon called it a “bidding BRAWL”. Usually have to pay for marketing like that.

Another anomaly we are seeing: If the properties don’t sell after 300-400 days, they raise the price. Nothing makes sense in the Halifax market right now, but hey, as Rob practically greases his shorts at the mere mention of it, “ships, ships, ships!”

Of course, an actual signed contract and an economic projection based in reality would be nice. But that’s trivial compared to the hype they can generate based on hypothetical “what ifs”.

#150 nsguy on 02.15.13 at 12:17 pm

Ham is for real in certain areas of Vancouver like West Vancouver where this small municipality’s demographics have changed rapidly over the past three years. Ham has taken a shining to this area, and have directly led to higher real estate prices, which has fuelled builders to overpay for building lots/tear down homes to market to the ham. There has been an exodus of locals taking the money ham is willing to pay and heading for different pastures. I have lived in Vancouver all my life, and am now feeling overwhelmed by this rapid, and massive demographic shift to the point where it feels like I am living in a different city.

#151 Daisy Mae on 02.15.13 at 12:23 pm

37gladiator: “It is enough for 1 house (out of 10 in a neighborhood) to be bought by HAM at a ridiculous price, and it becomes a benchmark for the whole neighborhood. Now, it will be enough for 1 out of 10 to sell at a reduced price (out of sheer need or desperation), and a whole neighborhood will get dinged.”

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

Just means hjomeowners can’t capitalize on their greed. They don’t get ‘dinged’ — this real estate just reverts back to the mean.

#152 Burnt Norton on 02.15.13 at 12:38 pm

#138 Regan on 02.15.13 at 11:19 am

Totally agree. It all comes down to xenophobia, entitlement and jealousy.

#153 jess on 02.15.13 at 12:44 pm

October/november 1983 | Volume 34, Issue 6

If Lincoln Hadn’t Died…Would the disastrous Reconstruction era have taken a different course?

http://www.americanheritage.com/content/if-lincoln-hadn%E2%80%99t-died

The Credit Mobilier scam
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/tcrr-scam/
http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moa/AEV1370.0001.001/3?rgn=full+text;view=image

http://www.loc.gov/search/?q=the+Credit+Mobilier+scandal
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Encyclopedia_Americana_(1920)/Cr%C3%A9dit_Mobilier_of_America

#154 m on 02.15.13 at 12:51 pm

Thanks for the CRTC link and you bet, I made a complaint.

#155 Me in Ottawa on 02.15.13 at 12:51 pm

http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/02/15/home_sales_pick_up_steam_in_toronto_and_vancouver_in_january.html

More contradictory news…

#156 ronthecivil on 02.15.13 at 12:52 pm

Of course HAM is real, my uncle is HAM!

He lives in Bali and has one house in Canada and two in Australia. (And one in Bali). Speaks fluent Indonesian.

Of course, he’s a white guy that speaks English fluently as well.

So even though he doesn’t look like HAM, he is.

The exact opposite of the people in the condo lines.

#157 Burnt Norton on 02.15.13 at 12:53 pm

#149 nsguy on 02.15.13 at 12:17 pm

You’re feeling overwhelmed? Aww. Where is it written that you get to feel like you’re living in the same city your whole life? It’s not like immigrant hordes are camped out in your living room. Yeesh.

#158 ronthecivil on 02.15.13 at 12:57 pm

It should be noted that it’s silly in Vancouver. There’s a house in Surrey that has been on MLS for over a year now. I noticed it because at the time it was 409k for what looks to be a small but not terrible house (which for lower mainland standards makes it cheap).

First it went up a bit, then back down to 409, but it’s now been going up steadily to about 450k.

Never has it not been on MLS over the year!

So either realtors are flipping it to one another, or some speculator has tried to flip it and has had to raise the price to keep up with carrying costs.

Or perhaps it’s just realtors keeping the prices always rise illusion up.

But either way it’s a place that nobody has claimed for a home to live in for even three months yet despite being on the market for a year.

I have been tempted to send in a mega lowball offer but I worry they might take it.

Watching that one little splitlevel tells me all I need to know. It’s all a house of cards and how it ends will not be pretty.

#159 Frank le skank on 02.15.13 at 12:59 pm

I’m not sure why people are so mystified about how people making 60K/year are able to qualify for a $1 millon mortgage. These people have new found wealth (even if its not real unless you actually sell) in their house value and equity.

#134 The real Kip on 02.15.13 at 10:59 am
Hot property is an RE advertisement. As much as I’d love to see someone on there tell it how it is, its not going to happen.

The government should regulate the RE industry more, given the fact that so many of its financers will be taken to the cleaners. Talking to a RE salesmen is like talking to a Ford, Honda or for that mater KIA sales rep. Their livelyhood is commission based and they do what they have to in order to make money. Sometimes its morally wrong but some people have the ability to screw people over without it affecting them. Be aware, act accordingly and gouge them when the time comes.

#160 Doug in London on 02.15.13 at 1:02 pm

If you’re a 52 year old geriatric like me, you’ll recall that the idea of HAM driving the housing market is nothing new. In the late 1980’s the market in Toronto area was going up like crazy, and it was blamed on investors bringing their money here from Hong Kong before it went back to China in 1997. In the early 1990’s, the bubble collapsed and prices dropped. With the deadline of 1997 being closer, why didn’t all that HAM pull the market up during this period? It’s also worth noting that when real estate went bust in the early 1990’s there was nowhere near the hype and manipulation by marketers that there is now. Wow, imagine that, the market was actually left to correct itself and find it’s own equilibrium like what happens during stock market corrections. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that idea of leaving the market to sort itself out what capitalism is all about?

@The Other Dude, post #93:
So where do you put your money when real estate is priced beyond what you can afford? If you were wise you would have been buying stocks, or ETF’s that invest in them during the price dips experienced over the last 2 years. How would you know it was a good time to buy? Because most people, including many who post on this blog, were bellyaching about how bad an investment they were and that’s a CLEAR, UNMISTAKEABLE sign of a buying opportunity. By the way, I am working class and not some big wage earner, and still managed to save some money. It’s all about managing your money and your spending priorities.

#161 The_PEZ on 02.15.13 at 1:06 pm

Yawwn. Just another Van scam. The locals should be used to it by now. How many times has RE peaked and crashed in the lower mainland in the last 35 years?

Would be good tho’ if it was mandatory for all realestate agents to wear pink suits.

#162 Bandiguile on 02.15.13 at 1:22 pm

Garth,

Will you ask the tough questions to the Real Estate Council of British Columbia?

In an Vancouver Sun Article yesterday, Tyler Davies, communications officer at the RECBC, said he had never heard of any situation similar to this before.

“We were alerted to this by another media outlet,” Davies said. “We are aware of it and the real estate council has commenced an investigation into this matter.”

This is statement is not true. In a previous story featuring Cam Good and Key West Marketing on Global TV on April 2, 2012, about a new Groupon-like concept to buy condos, a person named Tara Fluet is presented as a White Rock Investor, but who in fact is also an employee of Key Marketing.

This story was featured on local Vancouver real estate blogs, and a complaint was submitted to RECBC on April 2. RECBC responded on April 20 to the complaint, said they were investigating the matter, and assigned Carmen Amundsen to the complaint, file# 11-383. Yet nothing has happened since then, no sanctions were given.

Question:
– why is Tyler Davis saying that they have never seen such a case before?
– what are the results of the investigation led by Carmen Amundsen regarding the Global TV/Key West story?
– why no sanctions have been issued to Key West for misleading the public in a very similar way MAC marketing did?
– why do they have to wait for the issue to be all over the news to start acting on it?

Will you have the guts to do something about this?

#163 Bandiguile on 02.15.13 at 1:23 pm

It looks like the link to the Globe TV news piece is not working. Here it is: http://youtu.be/0p0gayRyBuY

#164 On The Sidelines on 02.15.13 at 1:25 pm

Just watched a news release on CTV news net that stated that the house sales and prices were higher in January according to the MLS. You would think that the news broadcasters would check out their sources before spouting this misleading info, especially after the BS that just occurred in BC. Is there no end to this.

#165 HogtownIndebted on 02.15.13 at 1:27 pm

#154 Me in Ottawa

Just read that too. The spin is making me dizzy.

After much reflection, I choose to believe Susan Pigg, not Garth Turner.

She is named after a lovable and delicious barnyard animal. (My city too) His name is too close to that of a cruciferous vegetable (and how evil does that sound!?) universally detested by children.

Facts are facts. I have done as much diligence as the media on this story. I rest my case.

#166 broadway skytrain on 02.15.13 at 1:32 pm

Of course there are offshore buyers. But it is false to blame them for price inflation. We did that to ourselves. — Garth

———————
In general, yes.

But what about the price inflation specifically within Richmond, the Westside and Wvan , ya know, the markets that moved the most and fastest?
It was not guys from regina, sarnia or nova scotia chasing richmond sfh to stupid levels.

#167 Anonymous on 02.15.13 at 1:40 pm

The link to the globe and mail article has also stopped working. The Ministry of Truth is in damage control.

#168 Devore on 02.15.13 at 1:43 pm

#94 juno

I work with People from Russian, China and India on work permits. All of them bitch and complain about “you can’t get rich in Canada taxes are way too high” and too much government.

There have been several prominent stories last year, particularly in Indian papers, about people actually returning to their birth countries, because they have more opportunities there to get rich. The LOVE the social programs and safety net in Canada, but balk at the taxes and regulations.

#169 JuliaS on 02.15.13 at 1:46 pm

#87 An Additional Vancouverite

HAM is a myth. You’re confusing the minority of rich immigrants with the majority of Asian citizens who got rich right here, selling real estate to everyone else or pushing other “investments”.

#170 Pr on 02.15.13 at 1:52 pm

…I may have to revise my forecast.
Hilarious!
Many will find it more believable, months by months.
Lets hope the government dont step in, to prop-up the bubble again.

#171 happy renter on 02.15.13 at 1:53 pm

News is out and Vancouver and Toronto house prices edgeing up. Might be a time to get in for a nice little profit to the upside.Wealthy people are buying not your average family.

#172 Laurie on 02.15.13 at 1:56 pm

I am always fascinated at how perceived risk is as influential as real risk, given the impact it has. The fear becomes so real that the actual degree of risk becomes inconsequential. Another fascinating post.

#173 spin doctor on 02.15.13 at 2:08 pm

Oh how I love this months spin from our head Canadian Real Estate agent. I guess the reduced activites after F’s changes this past summer are the new benchmark instead of comparing to last year. Lol that is so pitiful.

“National sales activity continues to hold fairly steady at the lower levels first reached when mortgage rules were tightened,” CREA president Wayne Moen said in a release.

#174 Devore on 02.15.13 at 2:23 pm

#116 Buy? Curious?

“You’re so wrong, my simple Canadians. So wrong.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li3WZXMJaH0

What’s funny is that is a boy, not a girl. But you know, those white people, they all look the same.

#175 Bigrider on 02.15.13 at 2:25 pm

Garth, I will give you credit on your call to exit gold and gold equities last year. I have noticed the gold freaks rather quiet on this blog lately

My 5% strategic allocation now 2.5% oh well.

My but what a bloodbath on the venture exchange.

#176 bill on 02.15.13 at 2:43 pm

#17 Tim on 02.14.13 at 10:04 pm

”You should try walking around almost any neighborhood in the west side of Vancouver or East Van, or anywhere in Richmond or Burnaby and see for yourself, regardless of what the real estate industry cites about statistics of immigrant home owners”
those are CANADIANS Tim

#177 Inglorious Investor on 02.15.13 at 3:08 pm

Watch a very fast piece of real estate fly by the earth (2012 DA14)

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

or on tv (CNN, etc)

#178 Devore on 02.15.13 at 3:11 pm

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/02/13/bc-vancouver-rental-incentives.html

Plan B for overextended owners looking a little less credible.

Vancouver rental market competition heats up

Looking for rental housing in Vancouver may be getting a little easier as vacancy rates edge up and with some landlords offering incentives to get good tenants.

Oh, no no, no landlord “offers incentives” because vacancy rate “edges up”. In fact, the rental market has been soft for many months now, which is why incentives are being offered. Incentives come out when you’re having multi-month vacancies. Bidding wars for a rental unit? Fantasy! The proof is in the pudding, and boots on the ground show a different story. If you’re looking for a rental, plenty of condo units and apartment buildings to pick from.

Little has changed for the better here for landlords in over a year. Sauder rental series data shows rents have been flat or falling for at least 6-7 years, even as prices went up dramatically. My own personal experience is my rent is down. I asked for and received a significant reduction 2 years ago. Professional landlords are eager to hold on to good tenants, and amateurs who raise rents are facing long vacancies, only to end up renting their unit at the old original price.

#179 Daisy Mae on 02.15.13 at 3:19 pm

#50Ms bboomer: “I hope these lying realtors and company are held fully accountable…..”

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

We are slowly going full circle. We’ll see many changes in the future. After all, we can’t sink much lower…..

So — back to honesty and integrity! (???)

#180 The Prophet Elijah on 02.15.13 at 3:20 pm

#123 Jaguar on 02.15.13 at 9:15 am Calgary immune from the correction? Typical cowboy arrogance. ‘It’s different here’, on full display. Meanwhile there is a 15 month supply (listings) in the big luxury acreage home market in the city.
———————————————————-
How do we calculate a month supply list?

#181 dosouth on 02.15.13 at 3:22 pm

#30 Victoria Real Estate Update on 02.14.13 at 10:26 pm

Hello everyone, especially you Victoria people who read this blog. I am a Victoria girl in her 20′s and I am here to share with you what I have learned about the housing market in Victoria.
_____________________________________

A Victoria girl in her mid 20’s – yeah right!! Reverse MAC strategy.

Why don’t you just come out and say you’re a bald, 300 lb. male in a dimly lit room from Langford who trolls the net looking for friends and be done with it.

#182 Astronaut down on 02.15.13 at 3:23 pm

C2559114 listed today. The Remarks for Clients ends with “They Always Build More Condos But Not Land!!” This profession (if you could call it that) knows no boundaries. Now they are using the hurting condo market to help sell a house.

– It’s Lieutenant Hurwitz. Severe shell-shock. Thinks he’s Ethel Merman.
– You’ll be swell, you’ll be great. Gonna have the whole world on a plate. Startin’ here, startin’ now. Honey, everything’s comin’ up roses…
– War is hell.

Over & Out

#183 The Prophet Elijah on 02.15.13 at 3:23 pm

#139 Keith in Calgary on 02.15.13 at 11:37 am In regards to whether or not RE developers paid shills to create fake line ups, there was a Craigslist ad in YVR looking for people to do just that. The ad was posted on Condo Hype or VREAA over a year or so ago, and the phone number that was listed went straight to a RE developers office.
———————————————————-
I’ve wondered about these, are these actual decoys or people being hired to hold a spot in line for a potential buyer who does not want to stand around? Maybe a bit of both?

#184 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.15.13 at 3:39 pm

#159 Doug in London on 02.15.13 at 1:02 pm

I think the whole thing has been a planned scam since the early 1980’s.

BC tabled Expo 86….which in my opinion had another agenda. False Creek was a major industrial hub…but housing started to displace it. Expo 86 basically wiped out what was left..and then left a large piece of unused land .

IMHO, the plan all along was to stickhandle it to Hong Kong ‘s Li Kai Shing, as Hong Kong’s transfer to Mainland China was due in 1997. He effectively endorsed Vancouver, and vast sums of HAM landed in Vancouver. The fear was that when Red China took over, they would be SOL. So we had this boom till the early 1990’s. By then most HAM from Hong Kong was here. Much of that HAM was simply a person selling a tiny HK apartment at inflated prices and buying a McMansion over here.

To pick up the Global slack we had the Dot.Com bubble…notice how the markets are often out of sync.

Then HAM from Mainland China started appearing….and rebooted the inflation of Real Estate.

The question is, what if Canada had not allowed HAM money in….ie restrictions of foreign ownership etc. would we not have been better off..ie charity begins at home?

I would submit that Hong Kong and Mainland China HAM were meant to effectively sell off major portions of Canada as China will become the next Superpower.

Future generation will figure this out…and hate us for it.

If one really studies immigration policies, they generally boil down to the same agenda. “divide and conquer”.

More Later

#185 Aveeno on 02.15.13 at 3:44 pm

#174 bill on 02.15.13 at 2:43 pm

#17 Tim on 02.14.13 at 10:04 pm

”You should try walking around almost any neighborhood in the west side of Vancouver or East Van, or anywhere in Richmond or Burnaby and see for yourself, regardless of what the real estate industry cites about statistics of immigrant home owners”
those are CANADIANS Tim
********************************************

Oh Bill, did you not get the memo? You can be more Canadian than that bloke Joe from the Molson ad and have had your family live here for 4 generations but still not be considered “Canadian” because you and your family don’t look like “Joe”.

#186 Leo on 02.15.13 at 3:51 pm

HAM is a myth, but stupidity might not be….

here in Toronto, renovators are becoming crazy. They are now trying to resale houses for 350k or 600k more than they bought them after spending a 100k to 200k(optimistic!) in renovations….

A few examples :
413 DELAWARE AVE for sale at 873k (they tried 949 in October, didn’t work!) was for sale at 329k before reno (may2011)
3 ROLYAT ST for sale at 895k, was for sale at 499k before reno 1 year ago
766 RICHMOND ST W for sale at 899k, was for sale at 549k last year before reno

And there are plenty of them ! For sure people seem stupid, one bought for 2.2M a house that was not even 800k before reno recently… But still…. I believe such greed is exactly what lead to a reversal. Future will tell.

#187 Daisy Mae on 02.15.13 at 4:06 pm

#131 Buy? Curious?: “Shouldn’t some media ombudsman be calming people who bought a condo $100k OVER what they’re worth? They should be storming into the developer’s office demanding a rebate!”

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

These people made decisions of their own free will. And they are responsible for it.

#188 TorontoBull on 02.15.13 at 4:09 pm

SM, according to my research (based on watercooler conversation at office) the GTA detached will be hot this spring. Credit where credit due….

#189 mel in victoria on 02.15.13 at 4:12 pm

“#173..BIG RIDER

Garth, I will give you credit on your call to exit gold and gold equities last year. I have noticed the gold freaks rather quiet on this blog lately

My 5% strategic allocation now 2.5% oh well.

My but what a bloodbath on the venture exchange”

Weak hands buy at the top as do they sell at the bottom. Just a normal shake out…This happens in every market not just the commdities…Remember what happened in 2008 and 9? Good luck and have a great day…

#190 panhead on 02.15.13 at 5:10 pm

#174 bill on 02.15.13 at 2:43 pm
#17 Tim on 02.14.13 at 10:04 pm

those are CANADIANS Tim

I was born in the Lower Mainland and of fine British blood and that was WELL said bill. Some of these “newcombers” turn out to be good people and good friends …

#191 Canadian Watchdog on 02.15.13 at 5:20 pm

#173 Bigrider

My 5% strategic allocation now 2.5% oh well.

You should be accumulating gold. US CPI will post positive next week. Link Then commodities will rally.

Gold is now $300 an ounce less than it was 18 months ago. No cash flow and capital losses. Some investment. — Garth

#192 Smartalox on 02.15.13 at 5:27 pm

Has anybody seen the front page of the Vancouver sun today? Just when we thought we’d seen it all in terms of Media-fabricated real-estate hype, the Vancouver Sun has found a way to lower the bar even further, with its new “Urban Development Institute / Fortis BC” Housing Affordability Index, developed in partnership with the Vancouver Sun.

According to the front-page story in the Feb 15 edition of ht eVancouver Sun, this new Franken-number purports to show “In Vancouver proper, housing is affordable for a far smaller percentage of the population — the UDI/FortisBC Housing Affordability Index shows that fewer than 32 per cent of households can afford payments on a single-family home, a new or re-sale townhouse or a new concrete condominium. The numbers are a bit more encouraging for other types of housing: 34.7 per cent of households make the $66,017 required to make the payments on a new wood-frame condominium, 35.4 per cent of households make the $65,129 needed for a resale concrete condo, and 49 per cent make the $48,455 required for a $356,000 resale wood-frame condo.

Yes, this is not an index of home prices, but an index of the ability of households to obtain mortgages on properties in relation to income, regardless of interst rates, existing household debt, or any one of a dozen different factors. Preposterous!

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/What+afford+housing+affordability+index+shows+varies+across+Metro+Vancouver/7967396/story.html#ixzz2L0O6mfWs

#193 Canadian Watchdog on 02.15.13 at 5:45 pm

Gold is now $300 an ounce less than it was 18 months ago. No cash flow and capital losses. Some investment. — Garth

You've been using that reference point for 18 months now.

I said to sell at $1,900. Sure hope you did. — Garth

#194 elchavo on 02.15.13 at 5:54 pm

HEY EVERYBODY!!! The storm has passed! Everything’s fine now. CBC says that the market is stabilizing.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/02/15/business-home-sales.html

Now you be a good oblivious Canadian and go buy a condo.

#195 Drinking Woman on 02.15.13 at 6:04 pm

Looks like Carney has sold his house:
http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/carney-warns-of-retirement-risks-from-inflated-housing-prices-1.1158548

Smoking Man = Beach Girl = Old Man

They have to be products of someone’s fiction. If not, than this world is really nuts. I mean, they are like cartoon characters.

Also: Victoria Real Estate Update = LaughigCON

That one is so obvious, too.

#196 Spiltbongwater on 02.15.13 at 6:14 pm

“Some realtors may say that this doesn’t affect property values, but there are definitely cultures out there that believe in feng shui and know that they will not buy… in a building located across from a funeral home where bodies are stored,” MacCormack said

I think so we all live in a Utopian feng shui neighbourhood, we should tear down all funeral homes, and just throw the dead bodies into the ocean hundreds of kms offshore. I don’t mind, when I am dead, don’t cremate me as the smoke might bother somebody. Don’t bury me as somebody has to live next to that graveyard. Just take me out to sea and throw me to the fishes and sharks.

#197 JWD on 02.15.13 at 6:31 pm

Garth,

Please follow up on this story. It deserves attention. Mr. Mac Neil was well aware of this story and was simply caught. Hung his two employees out to dry. Pathetic state of this shady industry.

#198 bill on 02.15.13 at 6:43 pm

thanks Panhead
assuming that ‘asians’ are all recent arrivals is just ignorant.
my wifes grandfather came from japan in 1914as a boy.he later graduated from UBC . both he and my grandfather made the ‘great trek’ to establish the campus .
A friend of my wife’s dad arrived after in Canada after ww2 with virtually nothing and through extremely hard work [he created three successful Chinese restaurants that I know of] and long hours he did very well.
it must have rubbed off on the 4 kids. they are all university graduates.3 specialist doctors and an architect.
I dont think this is at all rare in this ethnic group . very hard working.might explain the nice cars.

did you ever see that ‘panhead skidoo’ youtube vid?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr7emyq9SZs

#199 Victoria on 02.15.13 at 6:44 pm

Further investigation on fraud …

http://www.biv.com/article/20130214/BIV0121/130219967/0/SEARCH/Real-estate-media-manipulation-trend-emerges

#200 LaughingCon on 02.15.13 at 6:45 pm

Never bets against USA – or as Walmart U.S. executives
sweat the slow February sales.

“Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?”

http://tinyurl.com/bsfc6xj

I guess they shop now at Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Nordstrom and for food from Whole foods.

BTW we all (except Quebec perhaps) should pay close attention to these few lines from the article:

“When a payroll-tax break expired Dec. 31, Americans began paying 2 percentage points more in Social Security taxes on their first US$113,700 in wages. For a person making US$40,000 a year, that is about US$15 a week.
The extra tax bite is about equal to a year of car insurance for a family making US$30,000 or a basket of groceries per month for a family making US$50,000, according to Wal-Mart’s analysis.”

$780 for a FAMILY car insurance.

#201 Asse on 02.15.13 at 6:48 pm

Drinking Woman,
Smoking man=old man=beach girl are the same but different. Different voices using same names.

#202 syfon on 02.15.13 at 7:05 pm

This is not a precious metal blog.
I mention this before and will do it again, just to keep interested party informed.
Recently South Africa closed 4 platinum mines becouse cost of producing metal was more than it’s price on the market.
Same will happened to silver at 27$ or lower and gold at 1300 $ or lower.
That is simple fact.
I do not give investment advise but rhodium looks atractive.

#203 Westernman on 02.15.13 at 7:07 pm

General note;
God, how I love you indignant Canadians! Where else can supposedly grown adults feign shock over the earth-shattering revelation that Realtors lie and the MSM media is a lapdog for the PTB…
You people are like 10 year olds trapped in adult bodies… Priceless!

#204 Andrew Woburn on 02.15.13 at 7:09 pm

I believe the HAM effect happens periodically but that it affects Vancouver market psychology much more than its true impact on the overall market. We sold a house in West Vancouver in 2011 at a time when HAM was supposed to be rampant. We carefully selected an established Chinese realtor. We listed in late summer and she told us that there had been a peak in HAM in the spring of 2011 but that it had already slackened off. However for the rest of that year, there were breathless reports in the MSM about the flood of Asian money.

Some of the interesting things we learned from her were:

1. A significant portion of the then buying in West Van was from Chinese landed immigrants who had sold their Richmond homes at high prices to HAM and now felt Canadianized enough to leave “the womb”. Apparently the introduction of an Asian supermarket in a West Van shopping centre helped this trend.

2. Chinese buyers much prefer new homes because they do not want to live with other people’s energy in their space. Consequently they will often tear down even nicely renovated homes and rebuild. This trend is quite noticeable in the older areas of West Van.

One of the things that make Non-Asians believe that Vancouver is full of HAM and Asian multi-millionaires is that many Chinese people drive expensive German cars. However a cautionary note from a Chinese friend points out that recent Chinese immigrants do not spend as much as other people on expensive hobbies like boats, motorcycles and RV’s. They may have a nice house and car but may not do much else beside eating in restaurants. It is still relatively unusual to see Chinese immigrant families sightseeing in BC for example though the trend seems to be growing.

In the event, we did not sell to HAM. The house was bought by Iranians who are building a 7,500 sq foot palace. I have noted another similar large spec property listed by an Iranian real estate agent. Maybe we now have a flood of HIM.

#205 Squish on 02.15.13 at 7:13 pm

Upsetting conversation of the day … woman I spoke with in the coffee shop did not understand that the HST she paid on her condo was not something she would get back (she believed that when she sold, the buyer would have to pay HST *to her*. I’m not kidding). Also believed that CMHC insurance covered her butt, that if she had a problem making payments it was okay because she had purchased insurance. This woman is a teacher. I weep for the future.

#206 Dr. Hoof Hearted on 02.15.13 at 7:13 pm

I think people in Saskatchewan should buy up all the GPS ‘s at Canadian Tire, re-program them, and re-sell them to HAMsters.

Let them think Regina is Downtown ,Vancouver

N/C

#207 TurnerNation on 02.15.13 at 7:44 pm

That “store of value” is being dunned lately.
What’s in your wallet?

#208 kansai92 on 02.15.13 at 7:51 pm

See Cam McNeill’s statement?
“Cameron McNeill, the head of MAC Marketing Solutions admits the story was a fake and says sorry. But McNeil says just how the incident happened may never be solved.”

NEVER be solved? What is this, the murder of Jimmy Hoffa?
Are you friggin kidding? What kind of CEO cannot even find out how this was perpetrated? Obviously he was aware of the ploy and doesn’t want to admit guilt. Now we’re going to see a cover up or the two women take the fall.

#209 TurnerNation on 02.15.13 at 7:55 pm

We all live in a Yellow Submarine.
Underwater.

#210 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.15.13 at 8:21 pm


#182 Dr. Hoof Hearted — “If one really studies immigration policies, they generally boil down to the same agenda. “divide and conquer”.” — It’s worked well so far for the CPC, who have accomplished very little to nothing of value, while lying, cheating as well as shooting the debt and deficit up.
*
Very interesting The Pope’s resignation and financial collapse linked? 1:50 clip German gold grab. Last five seconds are good; 2008 all over again Garth takes one side, Walmart takes the opposite; Greece Youth unemployment tops 60%; 600 Children live in DC shelter; 1964 Pope Bernanke looks nice in his gold uniform; Social or Ethnic Cleansing? London, UK.
*
Reinstating the Draft Rep. Charlie Rangel bringing in two new bills; Auntie Beeb (BBC) Now they will be a pure propaganda machine; Smoking Man — Right again, but this time the Prof. is right and the student is from last century; High Taxes More US citizens renounce their citizenship; John Kerry Billary in drag?

#211 maxx on 02.15.13 at 8:54 pm

#143 Mister Obvious on 02.15.13 at 11:47 am

Good point, however, I’m not convinced that even this erudite and highly useful blog will help change legislation.

Perhaps people will effect change, but they need to wake heck up- and fast!

#212 Devore on 02.15.13 at 9:03 pm

#187 mel in victoria

Weak hands buy at the top as do they sell at the bottom. Just a normal shake out…This happens in every market not just the commdities…Remember what happened in 2008 and 9? Good luck and have a great day…

Wtf are weak hands? Do they get tired easily carrying around their bars of gold? It sure has been a long shake out, closing on a year and a half now? BTW, gold broke through $1600 today, but there’s still time left in the year for it to reach $1800 I guess. Gonna need lots of luck.

#213 habbit on 02.15.13 at 9:20 pm

#147 OZY My what broad strokes. Kindly fill us in of your contribution and lead us to the promised land.

#214 Fabrega on 02.15.13 at 9:55 pm

“false/misleading advertising” …WTF. That is fraud plain and simple.
If I steal a chocolate bar at the grocery probably I will go to jail. Is the law different for these crooks?

#215 Fabrega on 02.15.13 at 9:59 pm

# 206 Squish
That is why real estate crooks thrive.

#216 Beach Girl on 02.15.13 at 10:35 pm

Pissed off, of course I am not Smoking Man or Old Man, and Herb, you can fly a kite. I thought you morons would care for my health. Obviously not. I am not allowed to say what I want too. You should collectively apologize to me.

#217 ozy - to mr habbit - ostrich syndrom on 02.16.13 at 5:33 pm

Habbit, sharing valuable information, being outspoken on all required occations, acting with respect, consideration and emphaty, social activism, generosity, helping a stranger, help newcomers adapt, have a kind word for all people, neighbors, fellow parent or people that work for you, or provide services.

seems that you have a habbit that does not let you see the promised land, it’s called ostrich syndrom

#214 habbit on 02.15.13 at 9:20 pm
#147 OZY My what broad strokes. Kindly fill us in of your contribution and lead us to the promised land.
.

#218 Westernman on 02.16.13 at 6:46 pm

Beach Girl @ # 217,
Why on earth would anyone care about your health?

#219 Bubbaman on 02.17.13 at 2:17 pm

Can anyone help me please? What in the world is happening to the real estate market in Calgary? The hornies are out in force and the market is starting to ramp up. Genworth and CMHC are dumping more foreclosed properties on the market than ever before but at prices higher than the current new builts. Crazy idiots. Am sitting on the sidelines with cash and want to buy but cannot figure out whether Calgary and Alberta is going to sort of stumble along per usual for next couple of years or crash. No one can read the crystal ball, but I sure would like someone’s opinion. Maybe there is a perspective that I am missing as the lemmings run over the cliff. Or am I a bozo for waiting? T.O. and Vancouver are easy to read, but Calgary seems to be an anomaly. Help? Bubba

#220 QQ on 02.17.13 at 3:05 pm

@Bubba,

i don’t know much about Calgary but conventional wisdom states, if u don’t know what the answer is, pick the answer that is least harmful to u.

in other words, if u don’t already own a house, keep renting.
if u already own a house, stay in it.

#221 Doug in London on 02.18.13 at 1:32 pm

@Thick-skinned, post #220:
The time to rotate out of bonds and into stocks was during dips in the stock market that occured in 2011 and 2012.