Truth & trust


You may remember when this pathetic, but oddly addictive blog broke the story of phantom house listings. That’s the neat trick realtors have of taking one house and listing it two or three times, with differing MLS numbers, on several real estate boards.

Why would they do this? Mostly for wider exposure. So a townhouse in sexy, hip Milton also pops up on the Toronto system, where the sexy, hip people actually are. The trouble is, when that house sells, it can get counted as two or three sales – once by each board. The boards then ship their stats off to the mothership, where CREA aggregates them and tells an expectant nation’s media what the housing market is doing.

So, it’s basically fraud. (Imagine if trading volumes on the stock exchange were manipulated.) Sales numbers have probably been inflated for a long, long time, but it took one peed-off ex-realtor to change that (& one pathetic blog). After Ross Kay told me and I told you, the story was picked up by the MSM and then CREA reacted. I reported all this to you.

In fact, the realtors’ most credible guy, economist Gregory Klump, was sent into battle to belittle Kay, but at the same time confirmed in a rebuttal newspaper column that the practice exists. However it’s a piffle, he argued, affecting overall numbers by a mere 0.8%.

This week we may have learned differently.

CREA’s latest media release, run pretty much verbatim by all the crack, truth-seeking reporters, indicated that sales last month across the country were 37,995 and so far this year (to the end of September) 340,980 houses have changed hands. Okay, we get it. But CREA’s news release from a month ago – before the phantom listings story broke – said “Some 325,180 homes have traded hands across the country so far this year.” That was to the end of August.

The trouble is the year-to-date number for September (340,890) minus the year-to-date stat for a month earlier (325,180) is 15,710, not the reported sales of 37,995. So where did the other twenty-two thousand sales go? Did Canadians really buy almost 38,000 houses last month, or was it less than half that number? What the heck is CREA doing?

Kay says he knows. “They have secretly and quietly revised their numbers down to reflect the fact that they got caught with their pants down on the multiple listings,” he says. And it sure looks that way. Kay estimated that actual home sales across Canada to the end of August were 22,622 fewer than CREA was reporting and… voilà kiddies… we now have a 22,285 mystery adjustment.

By the way, this is not the 0.8% pimple that Gregory Klump suggests phantom listings were pumping national numbers up by. It’s actually 6.5%. But what’s a mere 712% error to an outfit that invented the Frankenumber?

So, CREA now joins the Toronto Real Estate Board, which secretly adjusts its monthly sales numbers on a routine basis, almost always to inflate current sales. And, of course, there are suspect numbers coming out of others boards like Calgary, Kay says, where private sales have been added into the stats, then compared with previous years where they were excluded.

“They continue to pontificate numbers to consumers which are simply not accurate,” Kay says, “and based on that, people go and buy houses, thinking the market’s hot. The only reason prices have been rising is that inventory is falling faster than declining demand – this is a false market being manufactured by CREA, which is the only source of real estate information to Canadians.”

And he’s right about that. The realtors own MLS, control the data and have no government-appointed regulatory body verifying the information. Revisions can go completely undetected, especially in a country where reporters are too lazy to compare one month’s reporting with the month that went before. So when CREA states (as it did this week) that sales jumped 18% nationally last month, the news itself is a market-mover.

Let’s remember that the giant 1% leap in mortgage rates earlier this year has an army of pre-approved buyers out there desperate to lock up a real estate deal before their cheapo mortgage commitments expire. That means a significant amount of demand is being drawn forward, which has been a big determinant of higher sales in places like delusional central Vancouver and the piteous streets of Leslieville.

Economist Klump may be hoping nobody notices, but David Madani, of Capital Economics, is on the job: “Home sales are getting pulled forward at the expense of later this year and next, as potential homebuyers jump into the market before mortgage rates rise any further,” he told the Toronto Star (imagine that). “Accordingly, we expect home sales to flop in the not-so-distant future, which will once again apply downward pressure on house prices.”

Now, you might not think that realtors diddling numbers is much of a story. But you’d be wrong. If BMO lied about the daily values of its mutual funds, regulators would punch its little blue lights out. Rightly so. Without truth and trust, there is no functioning market.

“I can’t believe consumers are being abandoned like this,” says Kay. “They are being left to the wolves.”


#1 Derek R on 10.16.13 at 8:51 pm

Unfortunately feeding consumers to the wolves seems to be S.O.P. nowadays.

#2 Derek R on 10.16.13 at 8:58 pm

Still, it’s good to hear of one small victory. Kudos to Garth and to Ross!

#3 Crash boy on 10.16.13 at 8:58 pm

A watched market never crashes. Patience kids it’s coming and will be a doozy!!!!!

#4 The mid month report for TO condo resales must be a fake on 10.16.13 at 8:59 pm

There is no way they sold 582 condos in Toronto during these last 15 days.

CanadianWatchdog, can you confirm or infirm their numbers? It would be great if you could post the sales so I can compare with what I have recorded so far


#5 Unplugged on 10.16.13 at 8:59 pm

Garth – how does the disclaimer at the end of their news release affect the “numbers”

“1 All figures in this release except average price are seasonally adjusted. Removing normal seasonal variations enables meaningful analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends.”

Either way, its all misleading BS..

#6 GraderFool on 10.16.13 at 9:00 pm

Maybe Duffy & Wallin are on the CREA board of directors?

#7 KG on 10.16.13 at 9:02 pm

Car salesman can plan for heaven now, in comparison they are angels.
…borrowing from a similar comparison to Mr McGuinty in the NP.

#8 Smoking Man on 10.16.13 at 9:03 pm

Speaking of Sales, Honest………..

What a confusing world we now live in, even brilliant clairvoyants like myself are getting confused, mind you that has more to do with an ever increasing consumption of Pino-G than anything else. Always a few wines over the line.

Can’t believe I’m sharing below info with out a cut. Getting soft.

ATTENTION: young Entrepreneur minded, and Future Smoking Men.

Next Wednesday 23rd at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, The City is hosting with

Convention and Free show. That’s right FREE

A small business form full of Resources and information, guest speakers …..They asked me but I stutter. In business they call me the stuttering sales men….Buy Buy Buy Buy.

My boys have booth, they won’t sell shit till I show up in the afternoon. They got a lot to learn. Grasshoppers.

If Son1 wasn’t in Halifax, he would kill it, way better closer than me. I should fly him in for the day, but if he gets a taste of this, he wont go back, and I like him far away.

They are looking for dealers, there closing ratio absolutely sucks, not enough door knocking under there belt I’m thinking, plus they take after mom, straight shooters, idiots.

Stop by and say high. Oh sorry I meant Hi

Will post Booth number on the day of on GF. Trying to get a better spot for them, not easy.

I am impressed with the brochures they came up with and the banners. Great marketing skills for sure, University Of Google.

They freaked when they found out it was an extra 200 for power, just to power up the note books.

They chose to go with battery back ups from best buy. This will be a race against time. Will not end well. They will be mooching power by 3 pm LMAO

I vowed not to intervene; it’s the only way they will learn.

More info to break the chains of slavery here.

Or you can just live in the dark and just keep bashing, Your, Garth, Me, Your Boss, The Banksters, and The Govt……..

Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
222 Bremner Boulevard
South Building, 800 Level, Exhibit Hall E

#9 Mark on 10.16.13 at 9:04 pm

No wonder Canadian bank stocks are hitting new all-time highs. Housing bubbles are awesome for transferring wealth from the borrowers to the lenders. The lenders earn far more money in the deflation of the bubble than the few piddly basis points they earned in the inflation.

#10 Paully on 10.16.13 at 9:05 pm

The real meaning of MLS: Multiply Listed Sales!

#11 Bill Clinton on 10.16.13 at 9:05 pm

Big bad wolf got caught with pants down…so three little pigs are saved! Thanks Garth!

#12 Inglorious Investor on 10.16.13 at 9:05 pm

The word in the media today is that PM Harper is planning on introducing more consumer-friendly policies and regulations to boost polls for the Conservatives ahead of the next election. Cleaning up the cesspool real estate industry would be a nice place to start.

Of course, the reason CREA can get away with fraud is because, as we all know, real estate is such an important part of Canada’s economy right now. So let the fraudsters, media shills, economist sham artists, and crooked agents have their day without too much criticism because it’s all about maintaining confidence in the economy and cash flow for the banks.

Remember: Canada’s economic fundamentals remain strong.

#13 Marco from Van on 10.16.13 at 9:06 pm

If folks spent more time doing due diligence on a purchase and it’s financial model than they spend watching reality TV or buying a pair of jeans then they would understand the consequences it has on the rest of their financial life.

When the magnitude of that concept is understood then the behavior of the counterpart of the deal (the seller and enabling industry) will have to behave in an acceptable manner or not succeed – eg. Be forced to be transparent and credible.

This is true of any relationship between transacting parties in politics, finance, commerce, even love and interpersonal relationships. When the selling party knows the buyer is ignorant respect goes out of the window and manipulation thrives.

The more we allow ourselves to dumb down, the more we will be treated like we represent ourselves collectively.

Change will happen, as it has in most other countries where transparency is enforced, but there will be a price to be paid, the financial slaughter of the gullible. When this affects the real economy and threaten powers higher up the food chain than the CREA, then rules will be changed to prevent a repeat.

But a sacrifice there will be…

#14 Cow Man on 10.16.13 at 9:07 pm

Sir garth:

Regulators my foot. One of Canada’s largest Life Insurance Companies sells a Par Fund Insured Retirement Portfolio (an income Life Product) and refuses to divulge their Dividend Scale. I would add their name to this comment but you then would not be likely to post it. Lets just say it is not Great West Life or Equitable Life. Interested readers can easily find out on line. The Financial Services Commission that Regulates Insurance Companies in Ontario seems all right with this.

#15 Paolo Di Petta, Mortgage Broker on 10.16.13 at 9:13 pm

Interesting Read.

Many of us have been poking all sorts of holes in the bulls’ arguments for quite some time now.

I wonder when we can all collect our Nobel Prize…

#16 X on 10.16.13 at 9:17 pm

Ok, so the gov’t wants household debt to decrease, and the bulk of household debt is in RE, so why would the gov’t allow the RE boards to lie, cheat and steal sales commissions, pushing up sales, and further increasing household debt.

Unless they really are ok with it all….as RE does employ alot of Canadians via home building.

When RE returns to the norm…and it will, many Canadians will be completely screwed.

#17 Furio on 10.16.13 at 9:18 pm

So, Garth, have you seen the numbers for mid October?

I just came back from a bidding war in Toronto. House sold for 55k over as king price.

That sounds unlikely. Winning bids numbers are normally not made available to suitors. You the agent? — Garth

#18 [email protected] on 10.16.13 at 9:28 pm

things in the news today that will shock you…

Toronto’s new aquarium costs 130 mil to build. Plus all sorts of land and revenue tax breaks. Tickets are expensive 30 for a single adult. What happened to the good ol days when things were free.

#19 Ray on 10.16.13 at 9:28 pm

#14 But don’t all insurance companies disclose their dividend scale to public. They tell how much they change it by. Plus an appointed actuary which kind of works for the regulators have to sign off on it each year. So I am pretty sure consumers interest is well protected for. On top of that insurance industry is one of the most regulated I believe.

Plus to completely disclose how the dividend scale works will result in disclosing policyholder data and I have worked on divided scale as a actuary and believe me it takes 5-6 people 3-4 month to change divided scale. So not sure how someone without an actuarial science background be able to analyze all the data?

#20 Brian Ripley on 10.16.13 at 9:30 pm

re: “realtors diddling numbers”

Apart from plotting the Realtor supplied data on my charts to look for market clues, I look at other data to see how it fits or doesn’t with the story coming out of real estate boards.

My post here
…suggests that even though Canadians have indeed experienced an increase in wealth from their financial assets, it has clearly been at the expense of our export productivity and puts us at risk from decisions made far away from any real estate board. For instance today’s speech from the throne again repeats the Conservative desire towards austerity which means that the private sector is going to have to perform if the “economy” is to grow. What will that look like I wonder?

#21 Catalyst on 10.16.13 at 9:30 pm

You would think the manipulation of real estate which eats up nearly 87% of gross income in places like vancouver would warrant government intervention in this industry gone wild….

Oh wait, Harper is busy intervening saving us $4/month in cutting our cable bills enabling us to watch more Love it or List it and property brothers

#22 Notta Sheeple on 10.16.13 at 9:35 pm

“……Some 325,180 homes have traded hands across the country so far this year….”

Since when did the flipping of houses become a barometer of the economic health of a nation?

If all of Canada’s used cars traded hands in one year, would economists be dancing in the streets?

If all Canadians were content in their own homes, and no houses traded hands, would the Canadian REALTURD® Association declare an economic disaster of biblical proportions?

#23 Steve French on 10.16.13 at 9:36 pm

I want to be a future Smoking Man!

#24 TRON on 10.16.13 at 9:42 pm

Garth where’s ‘central Vancouver’?

Between the sides. — Garth

#25 Bottoms_Up on 10.16.13 at 9:45 pm

What we need is more Canadians writing to their MPs about this.

#26 Blase on 10.16.13 at 9:47 pm

Re $30 entrance to aquarium

The new science centre in Calgary is $80 for 2 adults and two kids. The zoo is crazy expensive too, and don’t get me started on NHL wacko ticket prices. Maybe this is why Canadians have no savings, they look for every conceivable way to throw away their money.

#27 Mr. Reality on 10.16.13 at 9:50 pm

See what debt does? It fuels liquidy juicy greed.

Debt is slavery. Freedom is never paying a cent of interest ever again in your life.

Signed, a happy renter.

Mr. R.

#28 TRON on 10.16.13 at 9:52 pm

Garth where’s ‘central Vancouver’?

Between the sides. — Garth

…we call that space Main street

#29 Obvious Truth on 10.16.13 at 9:57 pm

Garth isn’t going to let the Real estate royalty of the canada retreat gracefully.

He will take no prisoners as we can’t afford the housing to keep them in. (Could use the empty condos )

It’s time to carpet bomb the industry just as their out of amo.

#30 T.O. Bubble Boy on 10.16.13 at 9:58 pm

@ #4 The mid month report for TO condo resales must be a fake on 10.16.13 at 8:59 pm
There is no way they sold 582 condos in Toronto during these last 15 days.

CanadianWatchdog, can you confirm or infirm their numbers? It would be great if you could post the sales so I can compare with what I have recorded so far


I’m going to take a wild guess and say that those are “seasonally adjusted”.
(which is entirely inconsistent with all historical numbers that were not seasonally adjusted)

Frankenumbers indeed.

#31 T.O. Bubble Boy on 10.16.13 at 10:04 pm

actually – I take that back… if you look at 2012, 2011, 2010, and earlier, these Mid-October 2013 numbers seem consistent.

2013 = 3,460 sales

2012 = 2,961 sales

2011 = 3,477 sales

2010 = 3,012 sales

2009 = 3,631 sales

#32 Early on 10.16.13 at 10:13 pm

I am going to lodge a formal complaint to RECO and I will post their reply.

#33 rails on 10.16.13 at 10:15 pm

Sorry Garth you are way off base again. Monthly figures reported by CREA are always seasonally-adjusted (take the 37,000 monthly seasonally-adjusted number x 12 is an annualized rate). This is consistent with how most stats agencies report data (see Statistics Canada). This makes month-to-month changes comparable. The year to date numbers are based on unadjusted actual data.

This has nothing to do with phantom listings. You are misleading your readers.

Year-to-date sales numbers are aggregates. If not, they are meaningless. Are you saying that actual September sales (unadjusted) were half the reported number? Are not you at CREA not worried about misleading? — Garth

#34 squidly77 on 10.16.13 at 10:16 pm

Thanks to Ross Kay and with the assistance of the fool blog, CREA now has an awful lot to answer for.

Are CREA’s mistakes accidental or are they deliberate pre-meditated deceit?

There are a few insecure realtors attempting to dis-credit Mr. Ross and this blog author, but not many, as most realtors and citizens of this country simply want to know the truth. Luckily, the honest realtors vastly out weigh the shady ones.

CREA can cry and make excuses all they want, but the Cats now out of the bag. CREA by their own admission have been cooking the stats.

They do have an option, they can release all their sales information to the general public, but they want, its all guarded and secret.

As far as the crying realtors go, dont ask Mr. Ross to prove his stats, simply ask your local boards to release there’s. Now that should be easy for them to do.

But again they wont. Too scared.

#35 ILoveCharts on 10.16.13 at 10:19 pm

Not a single mention of housing or mortgages in the throne speech. What a yawn.

As for all the new rules for cable providers, what happened to small government and capitalism? Cable companies are now fighting a fierce battle with Netflix and they will have to adapt or die. I just canceled my cable TV subscription because I can get everything I need online. No need for the government to step in to “protect” me.

If the government actually cares about consumer protection, then providing accurate real estate numbers would be a good place to start.

Write your MP.

#36 Joe on 10.16.13 at 10:22 pm

In Vancouver we are so used to the “mushroom treatment” by real estate cartel that it’s hardly news when they get busted ( we are kept in the dark and fed bulls..). Unless there is government oversight the “show” will continue.

#37 TurnerNation on 10.16.13 at 10:22 pm

Some good updates from SM re. situation Long Branch.

I might be mixing mets here but an ethnographer worth his ‘gestalt’ will break down a city using this model: Concentric zone model’s urban geography zones. For the GTA.

Looking south-westward from Toronto:

Zone of transition -> Long Branch, Park Lawn, Parkdale?!

#38 David W on 10.16.13 at 10:23 pm


If the SFT is supposed to be looking after consusers, seems like skyrocketing housing costs seem to be a non issue since there was no mention. Any thoughts?

Seems like a bunch of pandering to their base with public service bashing and not much else.

#39 Lucky 3 on 10.16.13 at 10:32 pm

Canadian Banks still lending money to low credit rating people!!!
Young couple,( previously not qualifying for a house loan) ended up last year renting a small apt. Guess what, he just told me that they bought a townhouse last weekend and the bank approved them already.
He was so happy that their offer got accepted so quickly.
Asking price was 296000 he got a good deal at 289000, sic, for a townhouse in welfare city???

#40 Carpe Diem on 10.16.13 at 10:33 pm

#25 Bottoms_Up

Writeup the letter and plenty of folks will be able to cut/paste into an email to their MPs.

Garth, you were sooo on in terms of last week being the opp to buy and then it went away…. or has it?


#41 AfterTheHouseSold on 10.16.13 at 10:35 pm

# 25 Bottoms Up
“write to their MPs”

Ok fellow blog dogs, lets make today the day that we all forward this post to our MPs. Your MPs [email protected]
Let them know how disgusted you are with this unregulated self serving industry. Lets do it!

#42 World According to Garth on 10.16.13 at 10:37 pm

US Recovery = going 2,000,000,000,000 into DEBT every 12 months

Your Tea Party nutjobs were Hoovered tonight. Nice. — Garth

#43 PurrPurrJones on 10.16.13 at 10:40 pm

Does anyone know what the “prudential liquidity plan” is? I beleive it is a bond buying program by the BOC however I was wondering if it is our version of QE?

#44 Roman on 10.16.13 at 10:42 pm

Wow, WOW!

I’ve checked and CREA indeed completely cooked the numbers.

I’m not even going to mention they don’t have methodology published nor raw or source data.

Not even totals, just percentages. What are crooks.

#45 connie on 10.16.13 at 10:42 pm

I know in montreal houses and condos are not selling and we see asking prices are declining

#46 Walter Safety on 10.16.13 at 10:50 pm

# 19 -Ray ,so you are an actuary please tell readers and Garth what kind of life insurance you buy .

#47 Steve on 10.16.13 at 10:53 pm

A little tidbit in the history of government insured mortgages: Corruption in the FHA in 1970s Detroit.

#48 FATHER on 10.16.13 at 10:54 pm

I was just reading the huff response from klump to ross and klump had 1 fan and ross had no fan. Time to support ross blog dawgs

#49 not 1st on 10.16.13 at 10:57 pm

Darn, the U.S. avoided default again. Now what am I going to do with all this gold and cans of tuna?

#50 recharts on 10.16.13 at 10:59 pm

actually – I take that back… if you look at 2012, 2011, 2010, and earlier, these Mid-October 2013 numbers seem consistent.

You did not get the idea

what I am saying is that the difference between what tosolds has reported so far and what they just published is HUGE.
If I include all the more exotic “Condos” (other than Condo Apartments) I barely pass the 500 mark.
The reported 582.
I would like to see that list!
I know that there is people around here who can actually check the validity of their numbers.

#51 FATHER on 10.16.13 at 11:03 pm

I think that bob moron is scared that he might have to trade in is car for a bus pass to flip burgers at mcD’s. If he was any good and the housing market was as good as he say’s it is, he would not bother doing all that bs

#52 bill on 10.16.13 at 11:04 pm

”The real estate business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
Which is more or less true. For the most part, they are dirty little animals with huge brains and no pulse. ”
-with apologies to HST

#53 Entrepreneur on 10.16.13 at 11:17 pm

This has been going on for long time and the internet has helped speak the truth…thanks Garth Turner!

The news media reporting on real estate in Canada is useless. They just read what the real estate board hands them. Wonder if the journalist will dig into this or are afraid of being sued? Greed in this country is unreal.

My sister went into real estate but soon left as she could not lie to her clients. She wanted to sleep at night and is not greedy.

The housing market has been put into a unstable situation. It could have been avoided if taken the sensible steps.

I have being reading about Republican Paul Ryan on small business, private sector and I have to agree with him. It’s quite simple and the equation is not equal.

Debt is not the answer to the economic crises only a temporay solution. What bothers me is that our B.C. Liberals has the worse debt in history and that LNG will get them out it, so they say. The bothersome part is the use of our water to make this happen. Where is the leadership here? May get the Liberals out of debt but at what cost to the people and the land? Scary!

#54 recharts on 10.16.13 at 11:34 pm

If I include all the more exotic “Condos” (other than Condo Apartments) I barely pass the 500 mark.

that was wrong. I meant 400.

here are the numbers

Co-Op Apt 1
Co-Ownership Apt 2
Comm Element Condo 2
Condo Apt 393
Condo Townhouse 72
Detached 2
Parking Space 1

They seem to add Condo Townhouse to the Townhouse category not to the Condo category.

#55 recharts on 10.16.13 at 11:36 pm

above “Deatched” is a mistake ..I run the wrong script and two so the Detached sales were inserted in the wrong database …

#56 FTP - First Time Poster on 10.16.13 at 11:36 pm

“As the planet’s carrying capacity shrinks, an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies will emerge … warfare will define human life on the planet by 2020.” – Pentagon, 2003

#57 billy on 10.16.13 at 11:43 pm

If you’re on twitter, tweet this and include #CREAstats

#58 FTP - First Time Poster on 10.16.13 at 11:45 pm

Well put!

Now about that recovery underway in “Murrica”

#59 Free-bird Thursday on 10.17.13 at 12:01 am

Garth, you’re going to be competing against Matt Damon for the narrative role in Canada’s RE bust documentary. It should be out around 2019 and it shall be called “Canadians are house horny as f#%*, eh”.

#60 Mac on 10.17.13 at 12:19 am

Garth where’s ‘central Vancouver’?

Between the sides. — Garth

…we call that space Main street

Main Street is the unofficial boundary between the West and East Sides of Vancouver.

Central Vancouver would be Downtown Vancouver around Granville and Georgia Streets where the Vancouver City Centre station on the Canada Line is located.

#61 AndrewAB on 10.17.13 at 12:26 am

It seems firstplacebob outta Cowtown is spoiling for a fight,his latest post is blathering on about transparency.

So…I requested Bob’s CREB, CREA AND MLS usernames and passwords, just so I could you know, check his information sources.

Bob, I’d say I can see through you, but I don’t have the password…

#62 Curly on 10.17.13 at 12:42 am


You said:
As for all the new rules for cable providers, what happened to small government and capitalism? Cable companies are now fighting a fierce battle with Netflix and they will have to adapt or die. I just canceled my cable TV subscription because I can get everything I need online. No need for the government to step in to “protect” me.

The government has already been regulating cable TV via the CRTC for years. The changes the Conservatives are bringing forward will create more of a free market for cable TV. Right now Canadians can only purchase Cable TV in bundled tiers so that you end up being forced to pay for lots of channels you never watch. People have to pay for the sports channels and documentary channels and French and multicultural channels even if they never watch those channels. By bundling the channels, the cable companies are forcing us to subsidize some channels. If people can pick they channels they want to watch and pay for a la carte then people are not subsidizing other channels with low ratings. This is creating more a market approach–which is what the Conservatives are supposed to be all about.

The bundled tiered cable package offerings we are used to are not the reflection of a free market. They are a product of the telecom oligopoly that has a stranglehold on the market. It is ridiculous people are forced to pay for channels they never watch. I think this move will help save the cable companies who are striving to compete with the internet. The internet is all about choice. The millenial generation is all about choice. Cable companies should give us choice of channels or they may go extinct as the internet takes over.

#63 Mike T. on 10.17.13 at 12:58 am

That is a very nice addition to the blog Mr. Turner.

#64 bob on 10.17.13 at 12:59 am

Garth, I love these types of informative post. Keep up the good fight.

#65 Joe on 10.17.13 at 1:04 am

We need a term for this about raising the debt ceiling.

#66 West Vanner on 10.17.13 at 1:41 am

One thing Garth, why can’t we search your posts on this site? There was something that I wanted to look up and it would have been so much easier to be able to key word search the item. We constantly read the blog, like the content and respect the opinions. As a real estate professional (not a realtor) but a real estate consultant, which means we live off the business to be truthful, I find the blog useful and very informative.
On a personal note, does the $150K threshold you mentioned for needing a fee based financial adviser also include yourself or are you at a higher threshold?
Thanks for all your shared work.

#67 Freedom First on 10.17.13 at 2:50 am

Unfortunately, as evidenced world wide this past decade, as well as throughout history, the higher I.Q. unethical wolves have had the unaware and lower I.Q. consumers bend over for severe punishment as penalty for their ignorance.

Only afterwards are changes proposed, so that “It won’t happen again:)

The messengers of truth, like Garth and Ross, help many innocents avoid self-destruction, but in doing so, have to deal with personal attacks/threats/abuse, publicly, and privately. To the unethical wolves, you will pay. Thank God for Karma, as you are also screwing yourselves. No exception.

#68 World According To Garth on 10.17.13 at 3:10 am

US Recovery = going 2,000,000,000,000 into DEBT every 12 months

Your Tea Party nutjobs were Hoovered tonight. Nice. — Garth

This deal lasts for 3.5 months. The real nuts are Govt proven, tested and true for millennia. Anyone who thinks borrowing/printing into oblivion works has never read a history book. Rome Part II here we come.

#69 Carah on 10.17.13 at 6:43 am

Thank your report Garth

#70 Sebee on 10.17.13 at 7:38 am

Pathetic and addictive. …

#71 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 10.17.13 at 7:59 am

Well all I can say is , It’s about bloody time.

#72 Squatter on 10.17.13 at 8:00 am

#68 Freedom First on 10.17.13 at 2:50 am
…the higher I.Q. unethical wolves have had…
I strongly disagree. IMHO the unethical wolves don’t have a higher I.Q. They’re just being unethical wolves. Period.

#73 Catalyst on 10.17.13 at 8:11 am

There is an easy fix to all of this nonsense. Make captial gains on Real Estate taxable at 75% and real estate will cease to be an investment. It is only bubbly because everyone thinks it is the quickest way to riches.

Imagine the consumption and purchasing power we would have if we only had to spend 400-500 a month on mortgage instead of thousands. More companies with bigger profits and more companies to hire staff. Stocks would get a huge boost so everyone’s retirement savings gets a nice bump.

#74 IM in C on 10.17.13 at 8:39 am

Whatever happened to Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad ?
I guess he got tired of waiting for the house-a-geddon which isn’t going to happen

Where he lives, it already did. — Garth

#75 meslippery on 10.17.13 at 8:52 am

#63 Curly
Cable wants me to pay $2.26 for a bill….
Thats the last straw for me this is war.

#76 NoName on 10.17.13 at 8:57 am

@ #67 West Vanner on 10.17.13 at 1:41 am

hashtaging is a joke, using a search with in website is definitely faster, by I personally think that everyone have to learn how to use Google.

#77 bigrider on 10.17.13 at 9:01 am

DELETED. Ethnic stereotypes and ridicule will not be tolerated on this site. — Garth

#78 meslippery on 10.17.13 at 9:13 am

Would you buy a house from this guy?

#79 meslippery on 10.17.13 at 9:22 am

3 of 10 is what I was trying for.

#80 pjwilk on 10.17.13 at 9:35 am

Enough is enough! I contacted the CBC’s Marketplace people a couple of weeks ago about the outright fraud that’s going on with these Real Estate Boards. I’m hoping that they will do an investigative segment on the industry and help start the clean up.

More voices can’t hurt.

Real Estate Council of Ontario (Complaints):

#81 TRON on 10.17.13 at 9:39 am

Mac on 10.17.13 at 12:19 am

Lived here over 30 years and have never heard anyone refer to Central Vancouver – it is Downtown Vancouver. Of course I could be wrong; I did say Main street was the dividing street between east and west Vancouver and it actually is Ontario street.

There is West Vancouver on the north shore, the West End downtown and the Westside east of Main street. East of West Vancouver is North Vancouver.

You need a hobby. Or a dog. Or girlfriend. — Garth

#82 recharts on 10.17.13 at 9:43 am

There is an easy fix to all of this nonsense. Make captial gains on Real Estate taxable at 75% and real estate will cease to be an investment. It is only bubbly because everyone thinks it is the quickest way to riches.

I disagree. The average Joe with no investment skills should be allowed this form of investment.
Tax it the way you say when the sales/resales happen every year for the same property. Make the difference between business and long term investment via owning

And do the same with stocks.
The initial idea of the stock market was that the investor will come along with money for long term investments and dividends
This whole idea of “futures” and algorithmic trading, millions appearing and disappearing in instants is a complete B$ and it should be taxed accordingly.

#83 bigrider on 10.17.13 at 9:46 am

Deleted ? why ? if its because of the the last paragraph fine to be uptight I guess, but the rest of it , well, you should not be afraid to address it

I do not edit comments, with the exception of occasionally removing offensive words. They pass, or they’re deleted. Yours failed the test. — Garth

#84 Whistleblower on 10.17.13 at 9:48 am

October Toronto Condo Sales

Now, that is interesting. — Garth

#85 bigrider on 10.17.13 at 10:07 am

#78-Ok fine but I will ask the question again without the humour( not ridicule).

Your understanding on asset price movements and correlation, the need to re-balance to keep portfolios in line within original risk tolerances of individuals and their respective accounts, your understanding of macro economics and your educational acumen speak volumes on your ability to give the advice you do. No one doubts your capability .

Yet you continue to believe that you can predict the future of asset price moves in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Google Jack Bogle Vanguard.

No one can predict future asset price direction with any kind of certainty or , most importantly, timeliness.

Your prediction on price direction of SFH in the GTA has been , well, wrong.

You may indeed be right at some point as probability of a reversal is in your favour, but SFH in the GTA continue to go up. This is simply a fact.

#86 T.O. Bubble Boy on 10.17.13 at 10:17 am

@ #85 Whistleblower on 10.17.13 at 9:48 am
October Toronto Condo Sales

Now, that is interesting. — Garth

Wow – the reality of condo sales is definitely worse than the headlines… here’s one that stands out:

Original Price = $648,000
Sold = $550,000 (under 85% of original ask)
DOM = 132

#87 Ralph Cramdown on 10.17.13 at 10:20 am

#74 Catalyst — “There is an easy fix to all of this nonsense. Make captial gains on Real Estate taxable at 75% and real estate will cease to be an investment.”

But I don’t want it to cease to be an investment. Flippers, who turn old Mrs. Smith’s house that hasn’t been updated since the ’60s into an up-to-date home that the Jones family can move into without enduring a six month renovation that goes late and over budget, are performing a valuable service which the Jones family happily pays for. Likewise redevelopers who raze old structures and build new ones at higher density. When people have to consult the tax code before deciding where to allocate their capital, it often leads to a misallocation of capital.

I see the problem not so much with the tax regime but with the loose government loan guarantees that turn almost any property bought with 5% down by almost anyone with decent credit into a AAA loan. This same government sure won’t let me by stocks with a guarantee and a 5% DP, even if I’m buying stodgy old Bell Canada.

#83 recharts — “And do the same with stocks. The initial idea of the stock market was that the investor will come along with money for long term investments and dividends. This whole idea of “futures” and algorithmic trading, millions appearing and disappearing in instants is a complete B$ and it should be taxed accordingly.”

I don’t want to go back to the bad old days when there was less liquidity, wider spreads and specialists who ate the small investor alive. Besides, it isn’t like the markets were less volatile back then. In the US, capital gains are only taxed at a favourable rate if the security is held longer than a year, otherwise taxed as regular income. Do you see a qualitative difference between the US and Canadian markets? I don’t.

Interesting high frequency trading interview:

#88 -=jwk=- on 10.17.13 at 10:26 am

@69 where was your concern when the debt was at10T? 1T to kill Iraq is in 2006 (that Barack opposed) is well spent but 1T to heal Americans… Well you gotta draw the line somewhere, right?

#89 drydock on 10.17.13 at 10:32 am

Max Keiser on “The cult of home ownership is dangerous and damaging”

Mortgage subsidies (through tax deduction) distort savings behavior. Middle-class housholds are incentivized to leverage their savings into a highly volatile, difficult to price asset, which is subject to disaster risk.
Home quity ends up beeing peoples primary financial asset.

All of the middle class savings is going into housing instead of putting it into more productive uses such as investing it into new businesses, infrastructure or Research and Development. Ironically, all the reserach shows, that the more housing ownership you have in a community, always following the house price rises and the home ownership increase you find unemployment also increase.

If dump all your money into housing speculation you crowd out the actual manufacturing jobs !

#90 Whistleblower on 10.17.13 at 10:33 am

A more complete list.
The previous list is missing the sales for East York, Beaches, Scarborough

#91 Randman on 10.17.13 at 10:36 am

Living on $5000 a year

“Price’s version of the simple life costs $5,000 a year, which he earns from publishing a wilderness zine and doing odd jobs around Joseph, his eastern Oregon town. “I like being able to do what I want to do,” said Price, who pays $100 a year for his land. “I don’t believe in houses or mortgages. Who in their right mind would spend their lifetime paying for a building they never get to spend time in because they are always working?”

#92 Westcdn on 10.17.13 at 10:36 am

The road till February 2014 looks good for making hay in equities – hoping for another Santa rally.
I don’t think the Canadian dollar is going under 90 cents US anytime soon. My thinking is it will hold near current values until our real market turns down. The rest of the world seems to waiting for the bloom to come off the RE rose eventually which will take our GNP down a few notches.

#93 Meck on 10.17.13 at 10:54 am

Another champion Frankennumber producer is the government with its unemployment figures. How do they know the number of people are coming back to look for jobs? “Seasonally adjusted” is another expression to make the numbers look like what the audience wants to hear.

#94 ptbarnums-ghost on 10.17.13 at 11:06 am

You wrote

“So, it’s basically fraud. (Imagine if trading volumes on the stock exchange were manipulated.) ”

Wow….you didn’t know that stocks and the real estate industry are manipulated? And always have been…..shocker.

In both these industries it is common knowledge that the penalty for fraud is far less than the profits to be made….the law metes out a slap on the wrist and it’s back to business as usual…in 99.999% of all cases. When there are no legal penalties for malfeasence there is a systemic incentive to lie, cheat and steal.

Stock volumes and pricing are not falsified or restated. There is no comparison. — Garth

#95 Ralph Cramdown on 10.17.13 at 11:12 am

#69 World According To Garth — “Anyone who thinks borrowing/printing into oblivion works has never read a history book. Rome Part II here we come.”

So who thinks that? Obviously debt can’t grow relative to GDP forever. The US federal government will have to spend less, tax more, or both. It has plenty of room to do both. Here’s someone whose thinking I agree with:

And here’s a word of advice: Securities which fewer investors consider are more likely to have pricing errors, which are opportunities to make money. US treasury debt is the largest, most liquid, most widely held and most analyzed security there is. A lot of people are being paid a lot of money to price them correctly. A lot of people are putting their own money at risk trading them. I would hazard that at least half of those people are smarter than you, and have devoted a great deal of time and resources in training, schooling, and studying the issues and facts. Good luck betting against them.

#96 ptbarnums-ghost on 10.17.13 at 11:16 am

#61 Mac…actually ‘Central Vancouver’ in industry parlance is known locally as ‘mid-ghetto’ , it is the squalid middle section of the city between Broadway to Marine Drive…..and from Cambie to Victoria. The sloppy crack houses and dismal mismatching trashy exteriors remind us every day at how Vancouver is often called a ‘barf bag’ among urban planners.

#97 Stoopid Idiot on 10.17.13 at 11:16 am

(Imagine if trading volumes on the stock exchange were manipulated.)

Say it isn’t so… Naked Shorting

The practice of seeking to profit from an expected fall in the price of an asset by selling shares you do not own without borrowing, or making arrangements to borrow them. [1]
In short selling, investors borrow stocks to sell them, betting that they can buy them back at a lower price and profit from the difference. A “naked” short seller has not arranged to borrow the stock at the time of sale.

#98 kommykim on 10.17.13 at 11:17 am

RE: #23 Steve French on 10.16.13 at 9:36 pm
I want to be a future Smoking Man!

Then turn off your spell/grammer checker, crack some jack, and post on greaterfool. ;-)

#99 Nemesis on 10.17.13 at 11:31 am

Sometimes, the most TimelyZen is, in fact, OldZen. So, with a little help from the WayBackMachine and Walt:

“Who’s afraid of the BigBadWolf?… TheBigBadWolf… TheBigBadWolf…”

#100 Jeff in Moose Jaw on 10.17.13 at 11:32 am

Sitting here listening to The Guess Who greatest hits album, cranked. Reading the blog and comments, #13 Marco form Van – I couldn’t agree more, fair enterprise. Talked with family and friends about this… its a hard sell.

#101 westcoaster on 10.17.13 at 11:33 am

Reading today’s blog makes my cynical spidey senses wonder if, in addition, those 6.5% (aka .8%) were somewhat selective. Were the listings posted across postal codes the higher end types? Doing the math would also serve to inflate the overall market fictitiously. Maybe this has already been addressed in the blog.

#102 Nemesis on 10.17.13 at 11:48 am

Egads! An EgregiousError ‘O Omission…

It’s “Duck&Cover” day in LotusLand… a timely PublicServiceAnnouncement for SaltyDogz:

[CBC] – Province-wide ‘ShakeOut Day’ drills are being held at 10:17 a.m PT today

[NoteToWannaBe SeismicPreppers: the more observant among you may well question the validity of hoarding PaperTowels prior to the BigOne – as per the CBC’s ‘illustrated preparedness guide’.]

#103 Ralph Cramdown on 10.17.13 at 11:56 am

#86 bigrider — “You may indeed be right at some point as probability of a reversal is in your favour, but SFH in the GTA continue to go up. This is simply a fact.”

There’s no denying it. But I’d add a few points: Jack Bogle didn’t exactly say you can’t predict future prices. Otherwise why invest at all? What he said was that over the long term, the average direction is up, and most investors likely can’t beat the market. So buy the market and be done with it.

Houses are different. Prices are more serially correlated than other assets (i.e. they’re trend-y, when they’re going up, they tend to keep doing so for a long time, and likewise when they’re going down). For most people, it’s hard to buy ‘x’ amount of house, where x is the preferred fraction of your net worth, and to rebalance regularly. And even if you have 30% of your net worth in your house, the leverage means you have more volatility and risk in that fraction of the portfolio.

Is SFH in the GTA a giant bubble, have we become an international destination like London, decoupling local SFH prices from local wages, or will interest rates remain this low for years and years, making these prices viable for upper-middle class dual income households? Beats me. I sure underestimated the impacts of the greenbelt and Flaherty’s 35- and 40 year Ho-Ho-Hold the downpayment plans. But I figure that every year prices go up by more than wages and rents is another year closer to an even bigger correction, whenever that may come. And I’m buying the income generating asset classes that are out of favour.

#104 bigtown on 10.17.13 at 11:58 am

An article in today’s Toronto Star is a financial analysis of a thirty-something Woman employed in the medical sector with good benefits and an annual income of $71,000. She is HAND TO MOUTH and is unable to get ahead with $36,000 in debt half of which is a loan for a used car with three years left to pay on the $16,000 debt. Her biggest dream is to BUY A HOUSE.

#105 Nemesis on 10.17.13 at 12:42 pm

“Stock volumes and pricing are not falsified or restated. There is no comparison.” — HonGarth

WannaBet? TeeHee!

[FT] – European dark pool equity trading jumps 45%

…”Dark pools, in which prices are only displayed after a trade has been completed, are becoming increasingly popular with investors trading in large blocks of shares who want to avoid the market moving against them, or having to trade in small amounts with computer algorithms.

The totals calculated by Fidessa represent around 3.3 per cent of the total value of European trading in that period.

Market participants estimate that the inclusion of bank-owned venues, excluded from the Fidessa survey, would take the total to roughly 8 per cent of all trading in Europe, just over half the levels of off-exchange trading in the US.

However, European policy makers and exchanges have voiced concerns that the growth of dark pools may damage market transparency and investors’ ability to find the best prices for shares.”…

I’ll take that bet. — Garth

#106 broadway skytrain on 10.17.13 at 1:03 pm

#97 ptbarnums-ghost on 10.17.13 at 11:16 am
#61 Mac…actually ‘Central Vancouver’….

you guys are over analyzing – garth is not from van, to him van = metro van
central van = van/bby/nshore, (maybe nearer parts of rmd/coq/nw) ya know, the “delusional” areas.

I was thinking more of Kits, Arbutus, Hastings, Oakridge, Fairview… — Garth

#107 Son of Ponzi on 10.17.13 at 1:05 pm

Good one, Nem! #106

#108 Ralph Cramdown on 10.17.13 at 1:18 pm

Come on, Nemesis. Dark pools are just discount brokerage for big funds. In the old days, a fund that wanted to unload 100,000 Sun Life would call the Institutional Equity desk of the brokerage it needed to throw a bone, and the junior guy on the desk would call all its other big clients, asking if they wanted to buy it all and negotiating a price. If he got a deal, it would be duly reported to the TSE as a crossed block trade. If not, the brokerage might buy it as principal and chop it up to sell in smaller chunks at a profit. Either way, the seller had to take enough of a haircut to keep the IE desk in supertwist suits and striped socks. Dark pools are just the buy side’s way of reducing the middleman’s cut.

#109 Son of Ponzi on 10.17.13 at 1:21 pm

With the US and Canada becoming more and more of a service economy, this could become a huge problem.

#110 Son of Ponzi on 10.17.13 at 1:25 pm

Here we go again!
Einstein’s quote about insanity comes to mind.

#111 rails on 10.17.13 at 1:26 pm

“Year-to-date sales numbers are aggregates. If not, they are meaningless. Are you saying that actual September sales (unadjusted) were half the reported number? Are not you at CREA not worried about misleading? — Garth”

Again- let’s talk basic economic statistics. Seasonally-adjusted numbers smooth out the inherent seasonal patterns (higher spring/summer, lower in winter) to make them comparable month-to-month. You cannot compare the monthly difference in cumulative year-to-date sales to the seasonally-monthly figure.

I guess that’s a yes. There were not 38,000 sales in September. — Garth

#112 Hongcouver on 10.17.13 at 1:27 pm

It doesn’t take statistics from CREA or any other source to see that this is not the time to get into realestate. I’ll continue to wait until the market balances out or keep my money working for me.

#113 jan on 10.17.13 at 1:33 pm

On global cheaf economist said that while sales and prces are up significantly he warns that because of negative economic conditions growth in prices and saleswillbe lower in the next few quarters…

Pretty much proof the stats manipulation been discovered hence damage comtrol by the real estate mafia.

#114 Ronh on 10.17.13 at 1:34 pm

The IMF is busy again. If this is true then those with a big mortgage and debt will be be fine. Or not.

#115 Son of Ponzi on 10.17.13 at 1:43 pm

I believe that the world is slowly realizing that the USA has become ungovernable, and the smart investors will act accordingly.

#116 Toronto_CA on 10.17.13 at 1:52 pm

#104 Ralph Cramdown on 10.17.13 at 11:56 am

“But I figure that every year prices go up by more than wages and rents is another year closer to an even bigger correction, whenever that may come.”

Well put.
The other piece in the housing price equation is interest rates, or the risk-free rate of return. Rates really can’t go down much further, if it all. But as we’ve seen from Japan’s burst bubble low rates won’t stop the inevitable correction.

#117 jess on 10.17.13 at 1:53 pm

THE Central Bank has yet to refer anyone to the gardai or the Director of Public Prosecutions 17 months after the collapse of Bloxham Stockbrokers

Asked about Bloxham, the Central Bank said in a statement: “We can confirm that an extensive investigation is actively continuing and, once concluded, decisions regarding any possible future enforcement options will be made.”
Customs House Capital

…”They were buying commercial properties in Germany and other european markets with syndicated funds from clients. The problem is that they entered into contracts to buy the properties before having raised the funds from clients. When the credit market crashed, they couldn’t get the finance to complete the deals so they “borrowed” it from their clients without their clients’ knowledge. ”

Finance journalist Niall Brady “House of Cards”

#118 Old Man on 10.17.13 at 2:15 pm

#19 Ray – I have no idea what you are talking about, so kindly clarify your position, as know nothing about this insurance stuff.

#119 eddy on 10.17.13 at 2:22 pm


Thanks for the interesting link about the IMF.
From wikipedia re Switzerland net worth tax:

Property tax

A proportional property tax of around 0.3 to 0.5 percent[21] is levied by the cantons on the net worth of natural persons. The tax is levied on the value of all assets (such as real estate, shares or funds) after the deduction of any debts.[22]

#120 willworkforpickles on 10.17.13 at 2:32 pm

Big houses aren’t selling. Nobody’s making babies like before who need such a big house. Boomers can keep their big houses until prices drop by half. Boomers will be needing to sell to prepare for seniorworld living. When you gotta sell that big costly house with nobody buying in a market with tens of thousands in the same boat….it turns into a shipwreck.

#121 Old Man on 10.17.13 at 2:32 pm

#37 TurnerNation – this is an old model that pertains to Urban Economics, but will not work in Toronto and most larger cities. Things have changed this model over time to distort it with urban transportation; moves from the core to the suburbs; the changing demographics; changes in the wealth formula; and the move of ethnic groups from one location to another just to name a few. The fixation of an economic model from the past is history, as today one must pay attention to economic vectors that are ever changing with distorts this older model.

#122 Ayn Rand Army on 10.17.13 at 2:34 pm

I cancelled my cable TV months ago and glad i did. I have an antenna now and use more internet.

I also went long on gold stocks last Friday and glad i did!!

Gold’s breaking out today!!! This is it, USD collapse!!!

USD collapse is because of the bloggers according to Obama.


#123 jaguar on 10.17.13 at 2:37 pm

Garth, it’s more fun when you say ‘Bee-mo’.

#124 Ralph Cramdown on 10.17.13 at 2:49 pm

#112 rails — “Again- let’s talk basic economic statistics. Seasonally-adjusted numbers smooth out the inherent seasonal patterns (higher spring/summer, lower in winter) to make them comparable month-to-month.”

Using words like ‘basic’ and inherent’ won’t score any points with me. I’m sure you can agree that some Canadian markets exhibit more seasonality than others, and within markets, some housing types (i.e. condos) exhibit less seasonality than others. So as the sales mix changes between and within markets, so too does the amount of seasonality in the data.

If I had the raw data, I could make my own seasonality adjustments, should I so choose.

If I had faith that CREA was committed to publishing accurate models and data and ensuring that its member boards did likewise, I’d have something.

I don’t, and I don’t. The music industry has Soundscan. Periodicals have the Ad Bureau of Canada. The Oscars have a couple of dorky looking accountants from one of the big audit firms. Statscan had a chief who resigned on principle when the government cancelled the mandatory long form census. CREA got nuttin’

#125 Entrepreneur on 10.17.13 at 3:02 pm

#81 pjwilk Marketplace email address to complain. Did and done…thank you.

#94 Meck on unemployment numbers…I agree that the numbers are not reliable. When the governmnent mentions increases I like to see where, what type, and is that person Canadian or the “temporary foreign worker”. I like to see more detail figures.

Politicians say anything to get in power. Politicians want our votes but they don’t need us. They give us what we would like to hear. Maybe their agenda is to access our rich resources which I have been taught to protect. The 1% versus the 99%. The only answer I can come up with all this fudging figures.

And by the way, do not participate in the casinos. It is best for you and for your fellow friend. It is better for the community to buy from a small business. Spent your money wisely and protect your community. It will all come back to you full circle.

#126 rails on 10.17.13 at 3:15 pm

Absolute drivel Garth. By your argument CREA is manipulating by under reports sales in the busier spring/summer months. Seasonally-adjusted numbers in peak season are lower than actual counts.

I asked what the absolute number of sales was last month. It would be useful to know. Please provide. — Garth

#127 Canadian Watchdog on 10.17.13 at 3:38 pm

#112 rails

If you have CREA data, you'll notice Klump quotes SA and NSA on different months. There's no consistency in their reports and it's confusing people, including realtors. The main issue is, as I noted here before i) presales/assignments being counted as resales and ii) member boards' revisions.

My estimates shows that somewhere around 3-6% of sales are presales or assignments. These are non-existing units that shouldn't be counted in existing sales (like TD falsely writes in their reports). Klump needs to be pressed on this issue, although he'll probably run away if asked as the whole thing would get exposed quickly.

Then you have another 3% upward bias from revisions: Example shown here with TREB stats. (From the top down is what was originally reported to the latest revisions. Once can see that 145 sales have already been removed from August, heading even lower so that next August will look greater then this year)

Now add what Ross Kay is claiming about double sales (I can't confirm this) and you have another upward bias of x%.

Add all these errors and you probably have an upward bias of 10-12%. Does this matter? Yes. Because when year-on-year data is at the margin, the difference is maintaining a positive bias. This makes great MSM headlines that get translated into multiple languages on to blogs and reports. CREA isn't stupid. They know numbers matter and have an influence on buyer's expectations.

All in all, you can blog, tweet and complain all you want. This will never change until the GG Commander-in-Chief (the only guy who had the authority to remove Melanie Aitken as commissioner of the Competition Bureau, who unexpectedly quit during TREB's tribunal) feels the government must do more to protect property rights and be more transparent.

Without that, Stalinism it is.

#128 Old Man on 10.17.13 at 3:50 pm

I am totally convinced that the future of Canada lies in the hands of the youth without exception. I told you all about driving into a highschool fundraiser the other day with my winter car that was a basketcase covered with dirt for a carwash, as they needed to buy athletic socks; what no budget? Gals with signs hit the streets, and a crew was ready for a carwash based on donations only.

I park underground and today was the first time saw the finished product, and was shocked, as have a brand new car; yes it was clear coated. I thought about this all, as that highschool teacher said we have no money so lets gets us some with free enterprise on the street with no shame, and his team said lets go for it, and of course the principal would have to approve of this all. He taught them all something; need I say more, and when I left he gave me the thumbs up!

#129 angela on 10.17.13 at 3:51 pm

This article is conspiracy theory ,I’m sure this type of conspiracy doesn’t exist in the USA

#130 Randy Macho Man Savage on 10.17.13 at 3:55 pm

#123 Ayn Rand Army on 10.17.13 at 2:34 pm
I cancelled my cable TV months ago and glad i did. I have an antenna now and use more internet.


Type the following into google/youtube: XBMC, Sickbeard, Sabnzbd

You will be amazed at how good TV can be.

#131 jess on 10.17.13 at 4:09 pm

ah trust!

News for the cartel fx manipulationDeutsche Bank’s Jain Says FX Allegations Eroding TrustBloomberg ‎- 4 days ago
“Issues like Libor manipulation, allegations of foreign-exchange … “The Cartel,” “The Bandits’ Club,” and “The Dream Team,” according to the …

#132 rails on 10.17.13 at 4:40 pm

@Ralph Cramdown

Each real estate board area CREA covers is individually seasonally-adjusted, and national data reflects these roll ups. Different areas may have different seasonal factors, but I suspect CREA accounts for this in the individual adjustments.

The data is not perfect, but I do not believe there is evidence of manipulation here. My main issue with Garth’s post is he does not recognize or chooses not to recognize the difference between seasonally-adjusted and actual data, and is massaging the release to make misinformed statements.

#133 Bob on 10.17.13 at 5:17 pm

Fed’s Fisher warns of potential U.S. housing bubble:

#134 Ralph Cramdown on 10.17.13 at 5:25 pm

#133 rails — “The [CREA] data is not perfect, but I do not believe there is evidence of manipulation here.”

You might not believe it, but I do. I’ve seen or heard of just about every kind of manipulation that’s possible within the system:
– Agents relisting to reset DOM.
– Two brokerages share a listing, and report different sale prices when it sells.
– An agent changes the list price just before updating the listing to sold, so as to game her sold % asking stats.
– The largest board in the country continually compares this month’s sales-cum-yet-to-be cancelled-deals with last year’s sales-ex-cancels, and blames year over year volume drops on a land transfer tax that’s been in place since 2008
&c &c

CREA is summarizing data which is provided by a passel of weasels, each of whom figures it’s no biggie if the truth is stretched just a tad, always toward higher prices and hotter markets. CREA itself, as well as each of its member boards, is an organization entirely funded by the dues of those for whom more sales at higher prices are an unalloyed blessing. Absent third party audits of the data, with random samplings right down to the deal level, I got no faith.

#135 Bob on 10.17.13 at 5:51 pm

Garth I agree with you that Canadian housing is in an ultra low interest rate fueled bubble and now would be a terrible time to invest in Canadian residential RE.

But I also have a feeling that these low rates combined with highly accommodative Fed policies have created overvalued stock markets. Especially considering the anemic growth ahead.

Now, let’s say a boomer sold his real estate and is sitting on a pile of cash. Is this a good time to START a portfolio? Would you invest it all today or slide into opportunities as they come?

So, don’t buy stocks. Lots of other alternatives. — Garth

#136 Nosty on the DSOTM on 10.17.13 at 6:04 pm

#75 IM in C on 10.17.13 at 8:39 am — “Whatever happened to Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad ? I guess he got tired of waiting for the house-a-geddon which isn’t going to happen — Where he lives, it already did. — Garth”

Still here but under various noms de pluouumes, IM in C, just have too many other things to do. Our home insulation is being increased next week from R32 to R50 in the attic, then I get a portable heater from either Home Hardware or here (haven’t decided which) in order to keep our heating bills down, plus listening to some great African / Oriental / Indian / Middle East chillout music, enjoying the grandkids and retirement. Cheers!

Meanwhile, here are some straightforward and un-manipulated links concerning various oddities of life which no one can do anything about — India is loading up on silver and China with gold. Junior miners for Tax Free Retirement Plans (TFRPs)? Polytiks, Thorium powered car (eight grams, one million miles), a Black Hole of enormous proportions (not the US Treasury or Fed), Snowden and Drahgi.

#103 Nemesis on 10.17.13 at 11:48 am — “Egads! An EgregiousError ‘O Omission … [NoteToWannaBe SeismicPreppers: the more observant among you may well question the validity of hoarding PaperTowels prior to the BigOne – as per the CBC’s ‘illustrated preparedness guide’.]” — Art thou referring to us Wet Coat Wannabees that we’re Shared Scitless? You may be on to something there!

However, when Le Grande One actually shows up for its scheduled production shift (in epidemic proportions), the Okanagan will be the new seafront norm, as everything from Lake Okanagan west will have duplicated the current RE malaise, and sunk.

Other terms such as The Not So Big Easy One, The Shik Brithouse (a popular, fun-filled drinking establishment located on the frozen northern tundran ridges of S’wan / southern Siberia, where men are men and trees quiver), The Osama Bin Laden Polka Dot Banyard Dance Hall and others. Thought for food!

#128 Canadian Watchdog on 10.17.13 at 3:38 pm — “Without that, Stalinism it is.” An apt description if ever I saw one. Time will prove us right or wrong.

#137 Obvious Truth on 10.17.13 at 6:11 pm

#129 old man.

This is what I’ve been saying. These kids have no fear and lots of knowledge at hand. They believe no one and check on everything with a stroke in the palm of their hand.

They have no loyalty to the current infrastructure and way of working.

They have totally changed and invigoured my investing.

The day I don’t have teenage kids I will volunteer at a high school just to see what they are doing.

Youngsters today are genius. Go youth.

#138 jim on 10.17.13 at 6:25 pm

question for those in the know…

… why can’t we get data on sales from the land title office, bypassing the useless realtors and their data manipulations?

#139 Canadian Watchdog on 10.17.13 at 6:29 pm

As expected, the GG Commander-in-Chief has ordered more Asian students to live and study in Canada.

Shanghai Daily Reports: Canada's governor general voices long-standing affection with Chinese people

As a university president-turned governor general, education is always high on his agenda when Johnston visits foreign countries. Canada and China have seen substantial exchanges on the educational front, he said, adding that there are now about 84,000 Chinese students studying in Canada and nearly 4,000 Canadian students in China. "We hope that number (of Chinese students) will go up to 100,000 by 2015," he said. "And that would be one more example of how this relationship has blossomed over the years and I expect it will continue to do so."

I sure hope StatsCan's annual tuition isn't calculated the same way CPI is, because if that's the case, Canadian born parents who plan to provide a good education for their kids are going to have an unexpected sticker shock when that day comes.

#140 happity on 10.17.13 at 6:38 pm

Yup, Theater Americana is concluded. 10 year rate is down 3% so the rising interest rate prophets hair gets grayer.

And gold bolted up 3%. Stocks yawned.

Real estate didn’t crash, and so the USA economic renaissance continues, no?

The S&P is up 23% this year. Gold is down 21%. — Garth

#141 jess on 10.17.13 at 7:01 pm

11 years of litigation–20131017006357

#142 johnnny on 10.17.13 at 7:19 pm

#23-steve french – “I want to be a future smoking man” how can you when they hide the cigarettes out of sight behind the cash register,and no one knows they are there?

#143 Do CONSERVATIVES support CREA manipulation? on 10.17.13 at 7:45 pm

The useless anti middle class conservatives have not only done nothing to stop the blatant manipulation but actually was the one who created the biggest housing bubble in Canadian history. It’s sickening.

#144 Daisy Mae on 10.17.13 at 8:08 pm

#107 Broadway: “I was thinking more of Kits, Arbutus, Hastings, Oakridge, Fairview… — Garth”


LOL Good for you, Garth!

#145 Ray on 10.17.13 at 8:27 pm

#46 Walter ..that question is really hard to answer. It is like asking someone what is a good stock to buy.

I am mid 20s. For me I would personally buy term 20 or 30. But if I was 45 – 55, then I would buy term to 100 or UL minimum pay because I know my family has a history of blood pressure that hits around 60. So I want to be in something permanent before that. And if I was a 70 and had 50 million and want to leave inherentance to next generation then I’ll buy Participative insurance with paid up addition which increases death benefit over time and as a result beneficiary gets more in tax free money.

119 – the discussion was about the participative insurance where the block is owned by policyholders themselves instead of stockholders of the company. And the point that individual raised was that their interest of policyholders in not taken care of and I was saying that it is not the case.

#146 Devore on 10.17.13 at 8:57 pm

I was thinking more of Kits, Arbutus, Hastings, Oakridge, Fairview… — Garth

Seems reasonable to refer to the middle (ie, central) part of Vancouver as Central Vancouver, even if that is not proper local nomenclature. Nitpickers and anklebiters should lay off.

#147 Tony on 10.17.13 at 10:14 pm

Re: #141 happity on 10.17.13 at 6:38 pm

Stocks had been bid up before the news. Sell on the news, gold and silver had been bid down before the news buy on the news. At the same time the U.S. dollar was weak which magnified the gains for both gold and silver.

#148 Concessionman on 10.17.13 at 11:33 pm

The end is near!

The agents are selling their toys!

#149 Soylent Green is People on 10.18.13 at 2:37 am

Re: Cable TV Bundling: Harper Throne Speech To Outline Pick-And-Pay Mandate

Another Canadian Press spinner!

CRTC just denied SUN News a regular cable slot for the 2nd time and Harper is desperate to make that channel more widely available before the next election as they are PRO Con and PRO Oil.

The CRTC board cannot be altered until mid 2015 at which time Con appointments to that board will be then stacked in their favor.

Harper’s public bashing of the Cell corporations over the Verizon fiasco and now the Cable corporations plays well with the public because the public want cheaper cell phone rates and more cable selection freedom.

It makes no sense that Harper would risk that many votes from those corporations and their vast number of employee’s unless HE HAS SOMETHING UP HIS SLEEVE and has cut deals with both!

So this is just grandstanding before the public and after the election, if Harper gets his majority, both of the Cell and Cable enterprises will be reset to their money grabbing industry price fixing ways.


#150 World Traveller on 10.18.13 at 8:01 am

more like truth and RUST!

#151 Wibur on 10.18.13 at 2:38 pm

It is actually sad and shocking that only .85% have 1 million in liquid assets. Especially if they are over 50 years of age. I am grateful I am well into the .85%
I think this should be a wake up call for most boomers to educate their children on always paying themselves first. To start saving for their retirement right from their very first real job.
It is true people with money tend to be smart with their investments and don’t follow the masses… When stocks etc are cheap, they buy more… They don’t sell when things go down… They have investment advisors that meet with them every quarter, rebalance and sell off some assets that have had huge gains and purchase other assets that are a great deal…
It is sad that most people don’t get this and that usually the real good investors don’t take people, unless they are in the million dollar club…
I like the fact I don’t have to watch my portfolio if I don’t want too… I have a person that does that for me…
Yes, I check it everyday but, only because I like to chart my wealth…
Currently I am sitting at a 13% increase for the year.. Last year I made close to 16%…
That is why I have a paid investor….
I couldn’t do that on my own…
Thank you Garth for teaching the masses on how to invest and invest wisely…