What could go wrong?

SAWING modified

The primary source of information about the real estate market comes from realtors. Based on that, people make the biggest financial decisions of their lives. This, of course, is terrifying.

Ex-realtor and now-indie housing consultant Ross Kay is a vociferous critic of the stats the industry spits out. “Canada is in a full contraction on sales with the volatility of pending price changes now being calculated,” he says, “The reason why the public needs to pay to obtain impartial and unbiased financial advice and not leave it to commissioned sales people was driven home this week better than I could ever imagine by the absurdity of the latest TREB press release.

GTA realtors scored big headlines claiming sales and prices spurted in January, mysteriously reversing a price wilt that saw detached homes slump 4% year/year in December. Kay says that data was likely inflated more than Kim Kardashian’s booty.

So, what are the actual facts? Can we trust what real estate boards tell us when ethical, progressive agents who try to reveal the true state of the market are squished like bugs by the industry?

Well, let’s compare two houses currently on the market, one in Toronto and one in a tourist town outside Halifax.

If you were shopping for a residence within walking distance of the harbour, restaurants and stores in Mahone Bay, you might come across this place, currently listed for $259,000.

MAHONE modified

But is that a fair price? How long as the place been on the market? Are the sellers highly motivated, or just fishing? Have there been price reductions in the recent past? Info like this could help you frame a winning offer, understand the dynamics of the listing better and know whether you needed to make an all-in or bully offer (if it had been listed for mere days) or vultch (if it had been languishing). And it would be great to know the valuations and recent selling prices of adjacent properties, the way you can view them on US sites like Zillow.

Well, in Nova Scotia, you can. The provincial real estate board makes its data available to private companies, and lets them publish it. So a couple of companies do, including Viewpoint and Tradewinds. Here’s some of the sales history of that Mahone Bay house – showing it’s been for sale forever and the ask is already down 12%, leading a buyer to conclude this may be ripe for an aggressive offer.

MAHONE SALES modified

How does this compare with buying a house in Vancouver, or the GTA? Badly. In Toronto the local real estate gods are currently threatening to cut off any realtors who try to publish this kind of data on their sites and offer consumers a worthy glimpse into the circumstances surrounding a listing. Like this property, on a 25-foot lot currently listed for $1,719,000, in the wrong part (north) of desirable Leaside.

BROADWAY modified

Google your little fingers off, and the only published information is that it’s been on the market for 40 days – which is a surprise – and the price has been reduced by almost $30,000 (an old listing on a marginal site has not been updated to match the data on Realtor.ca). Of course, all of the realtor’s marketing bumpf is intact:

Stunning Custom Build Home On A Quiet Upper Leaside.Just Steps From Eglinton Ave,Close To Mt Pleasant And Bayview, Shopping, Transit, Schools, Restaurants And More. This Absolutely Magnificent 4 Bdrm Custom Built Home W/Outstanding Quality & Workmanship. 10 Ceiling.Hardwood Flrs.Open Concept,Huge Fam Rm W/Fireplace W/Built In Bookcase,Built In Speakers, Luxury Kitchen, One Of A Kind! Walk Score 84. Tarion Warranty . 3000 Sq.Ft. Living Space.

Well, if you hired a realtor in Toronto, met the dude in person and asked for the sales history of this house, he’d give it to you. That would be legal. But if you read the sales history on a web site like Viewpoint (which does not exist in Ontario or BC), it would be illegal. The Toronto board has just finished threatening to cut off any agent who tries to provide this information to families researching the market, saying web visitors must register first, the sellers must permit data to be published (fat chance) and any sold listing must be taken down immediately.

This kind of draconian thuggery has put the board in the crosshairs of the federal competition cops, and resulted in a lengthy and expensive court battle, the outcome of which was inconclusive. That spat revives in May. Meanwhile, as this pathetic blog has pointed out, realtor organizations routinely revise past sales and price statistics to make current ones look more positive. They have included double and triple listings for the same property in sales data. And they’ve created a Frankenumber pricing matrix which obfuscates current trends, rendering it impossible for consumers to see if the market’s lurching or cavorting.

Logically, because of the stuttering economy, oil crush and swelling debt, the housing market everywhere should be soggy.

Maybe it is. But how would you know?

Update: On Sunday Toronto Homes Sold, apparently intimidated by the Toronto Real Estate Board, suspended its daily service of providing the selling prices of current listings.

THS modified

 

264 comments ↓

#1 Gord In Vancouver on 02.08.15 at 1:20 pm

Thanks for the great post, Garth.

#2 dave on 02.08.15 at 1:21 pm

first!!

#3 Bottoms_Up on 02.08.15 at 1:24 pm

Had a friend recently want to purchase in the Ottawa area. I had been following it for at least a year for the same type of houses she was looking for. She pointed out a ‘new listing’ that she ‘just had to go see’.

I then cautioned her that the house she liked had been re-listed 3 times (thus on the market for approximately 9 months and very unloved), and little in the way of price reductions. Had she not known this information, she could have very well overpaid for it.

It’s surprising this type of information isn’t made public to protect innocent and naive purchasers. It is harming people’s lives and the economy.

#4 Alberta Ed on 02.08.15 at 1:32 pm

Great comment. It should be stapled to the forehead (assuming there is one) of every MP and MLA in the land.

#5 ronh on 02.08.15 at 1:40 pm

Garth, you are light years ahead of Zerohedge. You can now say it, “I told you so”.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-07/canadian-housing-market-6-simple-charts

#6 Kris on 02.08.15 at 1:44 pm

#3 Bottoms_Up on 02.08.15 at 1:24 pm
It’s surprising this type of information isn’t made public to protect innocent and naive purchasers. It is harming people’s lives and the economy.
——————————————————-

People are over-paying. But is that “harming” the economy? You’ll have a raucous debate on your hands with that statement – Millions of Cdns who’ve made out like bandits riding this market, are only too happy with the state of affairs (never mind agents and mortgage brokers and construction industry etc etc).

The unhappy ones are a minority, a tiny minority – left wondering if logic has a place in a society where the Govt seems to be working for the indebted.

#7 crowdedelevatorfartz on 02.08.15 at 1:47 pm

Its only a matter of time before the Real Estate Mafia are slapped, kicking and screaming into the new reality of……the internet.

#8 kommykim on 02.08.15 at 1:47 pm

There is a special place in hell for commissioned sales people.

#9 saskatoon on 02.08.15 at 1:53 pm

NEWSFLASH:

everything is FINE.

canadians NO LONGER have to SAVE in order to retire.

continue to INDEBT yourselves silly.

KEEP calm. CARRY on.

http://www.moneysense.ca/retire/pensions/half-of-ontarians-may-not-have-to-save-for-retirement

#10 Irish Stew on 02.08.15 at 1:59 pm

What are thought so of buying a home in areas like SW Ontario where the costs are lower – especially in comparison to TO and VCR?

Is the fear to stay away from all real estate right now?
Thoughts would be appreciated.

#11 TS on 02.08.15 at 2:02 pm

Question: When a house goes 90 or 120 days without selling and the owners move to a different real estate agent does the clock start again at zero?

#12 Ben on 02.08.15 at 2:10 pm

If you have a society where land prices are distorted by loose credit *and* you have a society where enough people want to make a quick buck then you are onto a losing prospect.

Realtors are pond scum. The sun that feeds them is the banks. Go after the banks Garth, if you really want to fix this.

#13 Rainclouds on 02.08.15 at 2:10 pm

TREB kicking sand in the faces of the Competition Bureau, brilliant strategy. Hanging on by their fingernails I suppose.

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/03781.html

#14 Halifax Observer on 02.08.15 at 2:11 pm

Viewpoint is an incredibly useful site for RE data and definitely serves to inform and empower the potential buyer. I believe this open access to information is part of the reason why the Realtor koolaid is not as potent in Nova Scotia and the market is a good two years into a healthy correction. Public ignorance is a strength for the RE boards.

#15 NoName on 02.08.15 at 2:13 pm

better yet, what was a last sugesion you made to your mpp or mp?

http://youtu.be/ETegyBzAQnc

#16 michelledm on 02.08.15 at 2:19 pm

I wish Alberta had a site like viewpoint…I work in property management and many owners are listing their houses just to see if they can get what they want for it…not even that serious about selling…which from what I gather, just adds to the selling pandemonium thereby lowering their house’s worth that much quicker!! In the heat of it all, their tenants find out they’ve listed their property and are looking for somewhere else to live as it’s now a renter’s market. If their homes don’t sell, they lost months of good rental income just to find a new renter who will only pay them less. Whatever! I’m waiting to buy after housing prices bottom out here so I D-O-N’-T M-I-N-D!! lol

#17 polecat on 02.08.15 at 2:19 pm

Gee, we actually got something right here in N.S.

#18 Jimmy on 02.08.15 at 2:20 pm

Oh my goodness you’re early today.
Sunday morning bed reading. Might at well stay here all day.

#19 Sue on 02.08.15 at 2:23 pm

Interesting, but not surprising. They are protecting their guild.

On another topic, the rampant condo development blight in Ottawa must be changing. One two-tower developer has now suggested that he’ll only build one tower and that will now be for “student housing*”. I think this was the one that didn’t meet the local planning guidelines (too high) but which was approved anyway over a lot of local opposition.

Another “student housing” development also proposed for Ottawa:

http://www.torontosun.com/2015/01/24/plans-for-student-housing-on-brookfield

* Student housing seems to mean cheap, small apartments in tower buildings. Nothing much like this has been built outside the city centre for about 40-50 years.

#20 Sue on 02.08.15 at 2:24 pm

Sorry, reference for condo-changed-to-apartments story:
http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/student-housing-planned-for-edge-of-little-italy

#21 Randy Randerson on 02.08.15 at 2:32 pm

There is a reason realtors are compared to realturds/realtards. Withholding crucial information so that their members can be as unethical as possible makes me want to puke.

#22 Marco on 02.08.15 at 2:38 pm

Awesome post Garth. Hopefully changes are coming in regards to transparency in the real estate industry.

“CREA’s efforts also allow our REALTOR® members to better serve their clients. Our vigilant eye on both the economy and government, plus the economic statistics and analysis we provide, enhance our members’ knowledge. This in turn can improve the quality of advice they can provide to clients. As well, the REALTOR® Code helps create a level of trust between REALTORS® and their clients. ”
Until there is full transparency websites like Zillow in Canada there is no code, just deception with “Frankenumbers.”

#23 canadian in portland on 02.08.15 at 2:39 pm

canada needs zillow or redfin!

#24 Lilyflor on 02.08.15 at 2:43 pm

Even if someone’s house has double in price, how exactly are sellers making out like bandits, if on the other side they are also buyers of these overpriced homes? You only win this if you become a renter, and for the most part homeowners continue as homeowners, but just getting more leveraged as they go up the ladder. It’s scary that people think they are being financial geniuses, but the dominos are slowly falling.

#25 Ray on 02.08.15 at 2:47 pm

MLS in this country (Nova Scotia aside) is disgusting. Any savvy watcher knows never to read anything, whatsoever, into the DOM number. It’s pure fiction. I cringe everytime I read someone mentioning it (including Garth from time to time).

I have no plans to *ever* purchase a home until all public information is available on-line for consumption. Stop forcing me to engage a realtor and giving them the opportunity to brainwash me. Just put the state of the market online! What is the problem with this country? Bust up this data monopoly and do everyone a favour on transparency.

#26 Mike L on 02.08.15 at 2:48 pm

Like any financial market, I highly believe that the Real Estate industry should be independently regulated to provide a basis for ethics as well as standardization for statistics.

How can buyers/investors make prudent financial decisions based on biased and “behind the door” facts/data… especially when it is most people’s largest investment they will make in their lives? It’s impossible.

#27 gut check on 02.08.15 at 2:49 pm

Should there be a site like Viewpoint in the Ontario (and other) markets? Of course! But can`t you already hear the argument against it?

The place that has Viewpoint is the most depressed market in the nation. the places that don’t, aren’t.

case closed

#28 Zen on 02.08.15 at 2:54 pm

Anyone taking out a mortgage to buy a house in Canada today is playing a dangerous game of chicken with what is considered by most market observers around the world and all students of history as one of the greatest real-estate bubbles the world as EVER seen.

The real-estate market is a Ponzi scheme. Ponzi schemes do not require a fraud– all they require is the belief that another buyer will pay significantly more for an asset than that the last guy. This bubble dynamic needs nothing more than two things: 1). Confidence that prices will continue to rise and 2). A supply of greater fools willing to pay substantially more for assets that haven’t changed qualitatively or quantitatively.

When the pool of greater fools confidence is shaken, buyers will quickly evaporate along with all the price appreciation. This is what we are seeing in Calgary now.

All ponzi schemes collapse when more participants are exiting the scheme that are entering. This is when the Ponzi inverts.

There are two rules about ponzi finance: 1). The bigger the ponzi scheme gets the more spectacular and painful the fall once the inevitable collapse happens (think: Madoff). 2). The loss of confidence takes longer than you think it should and happens faster than you thought it could.

All those claiming a correction in this real-estate market will be a “soft landing” are either woefully uninformed about history or suffer a severe case of cognitive dissonance – that would be all those who have a financial stake in seeing the ponzi continue. There is no such thing as a “soft landing” for a massive real-estate bubble.

#29 raincloudsd on 02.08.15 at 2:54 pm

#27 Gut

Like Calgary?

#30 ANON on 02.08.15 at 2:56 pm

What could go wrong #4?

Witch-hunts, moral panics, and blame all around? Got the popcorn ready, waiting for samples in the comment section, to prepare for real world examples in the near future.

#31 Peter on 02.08.15 at 2:57 pm

I don’t know about anywhere else but detached homes keep going up in Vancouver. Even in the suburbs, you can’t get anything livable for under $650,000.

what gives? Will it ever correct by even 30% or is the new normal?

#32 Albertagirl on 02.08.15 at 3:01 pm

I have owned 6 houses in 3 provinces in the last two decads. My first two I used a Realtor to buy and sell. I was young and just getting into the market. I didnt know of anyother way and it was really before the big boom in Alberta. However, I still felt that neither had my interest in mind and they would tell me anything I wanted to hear. Still, got into the Calgary market early and made a killing, so being a naive late-twenty something (at the time) I didn’t care as much as I should have. Took my $$$ and moved to MB. Bought almost full out in Winnipeg. Used a Realtor to buy. Once again, I felt he didnt have my best interest at heart. The only way to purchase a house in Winnipeg at that time was thru a bid on a specific date and time. You didn’t get to see what anyone else bid, so everyone bid high. Sound like the realtors of Winnipeg created their own real estate boom by lying. He actually convinced me, after a week of arguments and against my better judgement, that Home Inspections are NOT the standard in MB and after losing a few bids, I removed home inspection as a condition. Finally got a house and boy, what a lemon I got. I later found out that at the time, MB had no disclosure laws. Maybe they still don’t. Spent a chunk of my profit from my Calgary home to repair my new MB house. Sold it, using a realtor and moved back to AB. Bought a new home from a builder, which was worse than working with ANY realtor ever! House was 6 months late. Day three had our sewers back up, after 3 months found the back door leaking under the hardwood. Winter came and we found the house didn’t have proper insulation. Our neighbours could see outside through a crack in their basement. This time I went to the Dollar store, got a sign, put some ads on Kijiji and sold it myself in 3 months. All it cost me were a few dollars for the sign and 800 bucks to the lawyer. Got our next house at a steal of a deal by doing research and used the selling realtor. House had been on the market for over 9 months and had 2 price drops. Low balled him and got them to pay for the upgrades. Realtor was happy cause he didn’t have to split his commission with anyone else. I suspect he made a deal with the seller and some of his loss may have come out of the realtors commission but didn’t affect me. They paid for a new furnace, hot water tank, electrical upgrade, and paint and carpet. But a short 3 years later, we got a transfer to beautiful BC. So, we decided to pay to get onto the MLS. A lot of people dont realise you can do this. Cost us $800 but we got professional photos of our home included with our listing. Everything else we did ourselves. Listed the house mid Oct and we sold it Jan 4. Cost us another $700 for a lawyer and voila. Saved us $15,000 in a realtors commission.
Moved to beautiful BC. Found our dream house in the Shuswap…. Again, they do things different here. We found the house of our dreams (we had actually found it on the MLS the previous summer before we had even known we would be moving there), called the realtor, made a low ball offer as the house had been listed for 14 months with 3 price reductions. Had it inspected, made the offer and started to celebrate…. or so we though. Nope. Land titles are the very last step in the home selling process in BC, not the first step, like in AB…. We were busy celebrating our new home and got a call from the realtor saying oooops…. The sellers were willed the house after their father passed away but never actually did anything to change it into their name. So, they don’t legally own the house and can’t legally sell it. It needs to go to court and the children (who are all middle aged) need to file a probate. You would think, that a Realtor would have done due diligence in the 14 months they were trying to sell it. We were so ANGRY with the realtor and their organization. Why would the land transfer be done absolute last? Anyway, we went back to Kijiji and simply drove around looking for For Sale By Owner. Found a home we really liked within a few days, made an offer directly to the seller. Sold then and there (based on inspection and financing of course) had the deal closed within 48 hours and were moved in before the end of the week. Better house and this one has a lake view!
My father always told me never to trust someone that gets paid for selling you something. They will always tell you what you want to hear. I guess as kids, we have to learn the hard way. I am now middle aged myself and hopefully this is the last move until the old fogeys home.
In this day of the internet, the Realtor is going the way of the Dinosaur….

#33 Robert on 02.08.15 at 3:03 pm

Reading a lot of hate on realtors and sellers but not enough on the idiotic buyers/investors who hear only what they want to hear. I wouldn’t say they are innocent victims.

#34 Realtors are SCUM on 02.08.15 at 3:03 pm

Where is the useless CONservative government to protect the citizens of Canada from these evil monsters of anti free market practices? Does that make realtors financial terrorists? Realtors are useless scum.

#35 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 02.08.15 at 3:07 pm

An interesting rebuttal to todays posting. Maybe a few would like to respond. The blogger seems keen enough.

http://www.torontomarkhamrealestate.com/sold-out-cbc-the-toronto-star

#36 Andrew Woburn on 02.08.15 at 3:14 pm

In Toronto the local real estate gods are currently threatening to cut off any realtors who try to publish this kind of data on their sites and offer consumers a worthy glimpse into the circumstances surrounding a listing.
================

We actually got all this information from our very professional, very helpful realtor when we shopped in Nanaimo. I asked for a printout of all home sales for the past year in our target area. We told her what properties we wanted to view and she supplied a background on each one including a complete re-listing and sale history for the past three years. In BC you can also get sales and assessment information online. Using a competent realtor can really help with the buying decision. If you are shopping in BC and you are not getting this kind of help, find another realtor.

Most realtors are not “pond scum” but the commission system and the easy entry into the business creates a Gresham’s Law effect where the unscrupulous drive out the conscientious ones. In a sane world, realtors would be paid a flat fee because the sale price has little relevance to the service they provide. There is a lot to know about house construction, financing, real estate law, area demographics etc. so they would be trained to the level of paralegals and closely supervised by a regulatory body. There would be a lot fewer realtors and they would earn a decent living and public respect.

#37 Our House on 02.08.15 at 3:16 pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/tax/11395829/Buy-to-let-Buy-your-children-a-home-and-pay-no-tax.html

#38 johnsaccy123 on 02.08.15 at 3:16 pm

Garth, any clue as to why Ottawa house prices houses are a mix of detached, semi-detached and condos combined together?

For January 2015 – OREB.CA::::
The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in January in the Ottawa area was $348,617, an increase of 0.5 per cent over January 2014. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $250,406, a decrease of 5.8 per cent over January 2014. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $370,442, an increase of 0.5 per cent over January 2014.

Somehow the average increase does not add up to 0.5%, unless number of condos sold each month is a minuscule number.

#39 straight six on 02.08.15 at 3:21 pm

re property shoehorned into a 25-foot lot currently listed for $1,719,000.

what I would do.. dump it and run.. then keep on sailing and don’t look back.

#40 Andrew Woburn on 02.08.15 at 3:22 pm

Why its no longer business as usual in China and much more than an anti-corruption drive. Ideology returns.

“When he took over as General Secretary, Xi Jinping found a Party and a state in chaos: corruption had become endemic, and the Party organization was still reeling from the Bo Xilai fallout. Social media and the Internet had severely challenged the Party’s ability to manage information. Observers both inside and outside China denounced Hu Jintao’s tenure as a “lost decade”, and that democratization and openness had become an inevitable necessity for China’s further development.

Rather than catering to these demands, however, Xi has methodically neutralized opposition across the political spectrum. When liberal reformers called for “constitutional governance” (xianzheng) at the end or 2012, the leadership countered with Document No. 9, another secret circular that identified seven crucial ideological dangers, including the promotion of Western constitutionalism, universal values, civil society, neoliberal economics, freedom of the press, historical nihilism and challenging Socialism with Chinese characteristics. The Internet and the academy were singled out as the two main venues where these ideological risks materialized.”

http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=f18121c5942896d3a87491249&id=e4914a0d97&e=5038a6b4c4

#41 Nemesis on 02.08.15 at 3:23 pm

“Well, let’s compare two houses currently on the market.” – HonGT

#JustForFun… #EuroComps… #2BRFlatVs.Emperor’sPalace… #YouDecide.

[Telegraph] – Live in a palace for the same price as a 2-bed flat in Mayfair – London house prices: Napolean’s 74-bed mansion is up for sale – at the same asking price as a luxury apartment in the UK capital

…”

Villa La Voglina was built in the 18th Century by the world renowned Baroque architect Filippo Juvarra.

The historic property, in the Piedmont of Italy, is set in 60 acres and boasts 13 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms and a private chapel with seating for 30 people.

The property also has two dining rooms, two kitchens, ten reception rooms and a guest house.

There are beautiful formal gardens and terraces along with a vineyard which, if restored, could produce around 100,000 bottles of wine per year.”…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/11398767/Live-in-a-palace-for-the-same-price-as-a-2-bed-flat-in-Mayfair.html

#42 johnsaccy123 on 02.08.15 at 3:24 pm

http://www.chpc.biz/plunge-o-meter.html

ouchie, ooucchhieee..Thanks for your work, Brian.

#43 Outsider Advisor on 02.08.15 at 3:30 pm

Part of real estate due diligence should include a chat with neighbours. On our way out of viewing a home yesterday in Ancaster (Hamilton), someone was kind enough to let us know that the house was a former grow op. The renos after the clean up were a hack job and the price drops should also have been a dead give away. Former listing found on dated realtor sites showed original price of 699,000 and after many reductions now available for 550,000. My wife’ realtors explanation was that prices in the area are dropping.
Hopefully this experience will cool the Jets for a while. My poor wife was ready to make an offer. In my opinion house was too big and not the right fit regardless of history. Not sure what we were doing there to begin with. We no longer get HGTV but house porn is a real struggle and the Jones’ keep setting the bar higher and higher.
I gave my wife a recent update on her heavily U S weighted balanced portfolio. Meh.
As for the listing agent, her website states integrity and reliability as hallmarks of her service. Not sure what if any disclosure requirements are required for former grow ops but ethics and morals should guide actions. Caveat emptor!

#44 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 02.08.15 at 3:59 pm

Zestimates not all they’re cracked up to be. But it doesn’t matter so long as it torments the realtors(registered trade mark, or whatever).

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-harney-20150208-story.html

#45 Mileage Roller on 02.08.15 at 3:59 pm

I recently decided to roll back the mileage on my car. I tried to sell it several times, but there was no interest. The comments were “too many miles”, “on the market too long”, “been in an accident” etc. I asked my local Realtor buddy what he thought about me not disclosing any of this stuff and rolling back the mileage. He said “hey, we do it all the time in RE. Works great”

Imagine my surprise when I found out that I can go to jail for a couple of $K but he gets to strut around when it’s a couple of $million.

Weird world.

#46 For those about to flop... on 02.08.15 at 4:01 pm

I guess the guy in the photo is o.k with having two butt cracks!

#47 Daisy Mae on 02.08.15 at 4:04 pm

Ahhh, now I get it. Garth told us the other day he was ready to throw in the towel, right?

He got all the realturds excited for nothing. LOL

#48 Snowboid on 02.08.15 at 4:12 pm

One of the biggest surprises for us was seeing the massive amount of real estate information online in Phoenix.

We were able to narrow 250 possible homes to 10 before we even contacted our agent for showings. We had sales/price histories (you could figure out right away if it was a flip) – basically everything an agent in BC has to provide was online. Tax history, flood prone areas, poor soil areas, etc etc – all a click away.

What about your examples in the original post?

If I had a choice between Toronto or Mahone Bay – it would be the latter without a doubt.

Love the area around there and Chester – here is one of my favourite shots I took on our last trip there:

http://imgur.com/IJbIFV8

#49 RayofLight on 02.08.15 at 4:26 pm

This is considered the nicer area of Tucson ,AZ. Tucson is about twice the size of Hamilton. People in Canada have to give their head a shake!

1,000 ft^2, 2 Bedroom,2 Bathroom Condo in North East Tucson, close to Sabino Canyon for $92,000

http://www.arizonahomesearch.com/homes/7255-E-Snyder-Drive/Tucson/AZ/85750/47441166/

#50 David McDonald on 02.08.15 at 4:29 pm

I was thinking about a retired Greek military officier who got his pension cut by 20% under the austerity program. The new Greek government may now convert his pension into Drachmas whatever they will be worth. That’s quite a reward for a man who served his country all his life.

Can this happen in Canada? Well the dollar has been forced down 20% in a year. Let’s wait to see which level of government thinks I should do even more for my country.

#51 RE Watcher on 02.08.15 at 4:31 pm

As a NS resident, I have utilized Viewpoint since it’s inception. All of us in NS, owe Bill Mc Mullin, a debt of gratitude, as this wasn’t an easy innovation to bring to market… I guess change never is! Knowing such public information could possibly be available helped when we made an impetuous Florida purchase years ago… with a little searching I was able to find out certainly a lot more info then the RE agent was offering.

#52 What could go wrong? | Realties.ca on 02.08.15 at 4:31 pm

[…] Source: http://www.greaterfool.ca/2015/02/08/what-could-go-wrong-4/ […]

#53 Mark on 02.08.15 at 4:43 pm

“Can this happen in Canada? Well the dollar has been forced down 20% in a year. Let’s wait to see which level of government thinks I should do even more for my country.”

Most of those pensions have indexing, so if there was actually any loss of purchasing power, the indexing would take care of such. And its not realistic to expect a government, let alone the Canadian government, to provide a pension paid in foreign currency that it does not, itself, collect in taxes.

I personally believe that government pension reform, to be meaningful, is going to have to be applied not only to current contributors, but also to retirees. But to say that a Canadian pension has lost value because the CAD$ has been, at least in the very short term, been hammered down by speculators, is really over the top.

#54 Mark on 02.08.15 at 4:47 pm

“Garth, any clue as to why Ottawa house prices houses are a mix of detached, semi-detached and condos combined together?”

Like everywhere else in Canada, its so the Realtors can hide behind a changing ‘sales mix’, reporting the “statistics” that are most favourable to the position they’re trying to put forth. In the case of most of Canada, house prices have been falling, across all categories, for almost the past 2 years. Yet the sales mix has changed significantly enough, away from lower-end units and towards higher-end units, that they’ve actually been able to claim price increases. Leading the lay public to come to some rather erroneous conclusions as to the state of the market.

Bankers are smart enough to not get caught up in the false price increases, as they’ve tightened down lending considerably in the past 2 years and even recently have applied an additional risk premium to borrowers by refusing to drop “Prime”. But I do feel sorry for the average “Joe” or “Jane” newbie-homebuyer who may be paying an inflated price for property when demand at the higher price isn’t anywhere near as existent or robust as the media, or some uneducated Realtor thinks it is.

#55 Ford Prefect on 02.08.15 at 4:58 pm

Where is the useless CONservative government to protect the citizens of Canada from these evil monsters of anti free market practices?
________________________________

I became curious about who had brought in the changes in Nova Scotia that allowed for freely available real estate information. The “Real Estate Trading Act” 1996 was brought in by John Savage, then Liberal premier of N.S.

According to Wikipedia “Savage was a controversial premier, bringing in many reforms in taxation, regional government, and government hiring practices. He resigned as premier in 1997” … because of low approval rating. So that is possibly one reason that no government will touch this issue.

As a takeaway, not all Liberals are bad. And no I am not one.

#56 hate on realtors and sellers on 02.08.15 at 4:59 pm

“Reading a lot of hate on realtors and sellers but not enough on the idiotic buyers/investors who hear only what they want to hear. I wouldn’t say they are innocent victims.”

Interesting but true comment. Scammers and con men are everywhere but it is up to us to exercise caution and some common sense and avoid them

#57 TurnerNation on 02.08.15 at 5:06 pm

We need more iconoclastic balliwickers with talismanistic qualities.

#58 213 fool on 02.08.15 at 5:20 pm

There was a person in Vancouver posting price and listing history for some houses on their blog. Sadly, there hasn’t been a post since July 8, 2014. Very interesting how prices changed. I wonder what happened to this person.

https://vancouverpricedrop.wordpress.com/

#59 TnT on 02.08.15 at 5:20 pm

Comparing real estate selling processes of Mahone Bay to Toronto or Vancouver is a joke.

There are more people in my local High School than Mahone Bay

If you were shopping for a residence within walking distance of the harbour, restaurants and stores in… Toronto or Vancouver *** there would be a lineup of buyers***

Zillow or any other detailed site would make no difference.

Toronto and Vancouver have flipped from being like any other city in Canada to being more like New York City or London. It’s unattainable by the local standards of affordability.

Top 10 overpriced houses in the World
Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, London, Wollongong, Victoria, New York, Toronto, Christchurch

https://sobata416.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/21.jpg

Is it a coincidence that Australia, New Zealand (right next door to China and Hong Kong) and Canada (right down the street from China and Hong Kong) have 8 of the top 10 cities listed?

We can all agree that London and New York sure do stand out as world class cities vs. these other 8 overpriced cities right?

Hmm, wonder what the difference is…

You think Zillow is going to change that?

Nope…..

I was contrasting data, not markets. How could you miss that? — Garth

#60 Albertagirl on 02.08.15 at 5:23 pm

#33 Robert

With all of the commercials and advertisements telling us “To trust realtors” “they work for you” “They do the best for their clients”… What are newbies supposed to believe if no one every tells them different. Sure, this site has a lot of realtor “bashing” as you call it. I call it a warning to the inexperienced. Like I stated before, I have bought and sold 6 houses in 3 provinces, I have interviewed 1000 realtors over the decades and absolutely all of them will tell you exactly what you want to hear (I have 4 in my extended family). You have to have experience or a lot of research to weed through their lies…. Anyone that can make 20K for a few pics and a few mouse clicks, probably isn’t out to protect you, they are out of their $$$. You call it spin, I call it LIES. I suspect that you are a Realtor or you are married to one.

#61 Fed-up on 02.08.15 at 5:24 pm

I Just returned from a wonderful trip in southern California after having spent a few days in my home in lovely Scottsdale AZ. What you already know and suspect becomes painfully obvious when you visit such a beautiful climate adorned with fantastic landscape, a dynamic atmosphere, clean pot hole free roads and nice, happy and friendly people, that Canada and what it promises to deliver, has become nothing but a grand lie. The fact that you can live in a beautiful home in Beverly hills for same price or less than that piece of crap that Garth posted today in a comparative frozen eyesore of a city, is a sad joke indeed.

I visited a good friend who lives in the lovely Brentwood neighbourhood of Los Angeles, that would make Leslieville look like a ghetto by comparison, and he showed me homes selling for 300-400k that would bring tears to the eyes of those who would pay anywhere near a million dollars for a home this congested and boring meat locker of a city.

Oh and BTW, after having driven in LA for 7 straight days, all over their city and at ALL times of day, Toronto traffic is worse and in most cases, far worse. Another Canadian myth dispelled.

When I came back to unthinkable amounts of snow and minus 20 temperatures along with bumper to bumper traffic at 11pm on Saturday night, I was deeply saddened. I guess this is why we pay the big bucks to live here right??? :p

California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day…

#62 What can we to to get rid of realtors? on 02.08.15 at 5:28 pm

Garth is there anyway we can put pressure on government to open up MLS to a more free market market which useless realtors obviously hate so much. Realtors have ruined the canadian economy as companies and factories are leaving canada in great numbers. People are so maxed out on debt all thanks to overvalued RE. Realtors are a cancer to the economic well being of canada. How can we blog dogs contribute is getting MLS opened up?

#63 Cowpoke on 02.08.15 at 5:32 pm

I am generally not in favor of any form of government sponsored cartel, however there many lobbyists in Ottawa.

Realtor.com and Realtor.ca are the most reliable websites.

#64 Don on 02.08.15 at 5:34 pm

#6 Kris on 02.08.15 at 1:44 pm
#3 Bottoms_Up on 02.08.15 at 1:24 pm
It’s surprising this type of information isn’t made public to protect innocent and naive purchasers. It is harming people’s lives and the economy.
——————————————————-

People are over-paying. But is that “harming” the economy? You’ll have a raucous debate on your hands with that statement – Millions of Cdns who’ve made out like bandits riding this market, are only too happy with the state of affairs (never mind agents and mortgage brokers and construction industry etc etc).

The unhappy ones are a minority, a tiny minority – left wondering if logic has a place in a society where the Govt seems to be working for the indebted
********************

Musical chair game – and the music hasn’t stopped yet. First in first out – Boomer out – Millenial in. Future purchasing power of the Boomer declining as expected (not yet) but on its way – while the Millenial, Y and even X are indebted playing the keeping up with the Jones Game – perfected by their parents.

This cannot end well unless more delusional schemes are hatched. Will the rest of the world play along – doubt it.

#65 pinstripe on 02.08.15 at 5:38 pm

at the coffe shop where the geezers meet for coffee, an elder real estae salesman, who has been in the business for many many years, claims that he sold one property 10 times over the last 7 years. a few more sales and the commission total will be morethan the value of the property. He makes it very clear that his job is to SELL.

#66 Marco on 02.08.15 at 5:39 pm

#56 hate on realtors and sellers

“Interesting but true comment. Scammers and con men are everywhere but it is up to us to exercise caution and some common sense and avoid them”

You’re missing the point of transparency in an industry backed by Banks and the Government. Not some anonymous dude trying to build a Ponzi scheme with investors money for example.
Cheers.

#67 Open Up MLS realtor scum on 02.08.15 at 5:44 pm

Those who hate free markets are known as terrorists? Does that make the RE industry financial terrorist organization? Why is the government allowing the RE industry to say and do whatever they want?

#68 enzholdings on 02.08.15 at 5:46 pm

#28… ZEN… CDN RE PONZI PARADOX?
I agree a soft landing is not in the cards for CDN housing market. Look for a high profile bankruptcy on the TSX to trigger the first wave of panic selling in housing. Position your portfolio accordingly. You should be in mostly US and CDN cash, US fixed income, precious metals. Look for earnings miss from home capital and genworth financial!

EnZ

#69 Don on 02.08.15 at 5:55 pm

Why aren’t realtors regulated yet?
What’s the Government waiting for?

(more questions can be asked of course)

Ok – just thought

We are about to experience a wave of retirement (North America) unmatched in modern times. OAS will be most likely become income and asset tested.

IS the political plan to allow boomer to make huge windfalls off the backs of those who lack the true info to bid appropriately. IS that the plan to indebt the young so as alleviate the future demand the boomers will put on the system. You can check if a car has been in an accident but not a poor built house that langusihes on the market.

What we have now is special interest politicians nothing more and nothing less. There may start with good intentions and some fight the system but they can’t do it alone.

#70 april on 02.08.15 at 5:56 pm

#33- Fully agree re “idiotic buyers/investors”. I have no sympathy for them.

#71 Don on 02.08.15 at 5:59 pm

Repost – yikes too many spelling and grammar mistakes

#68 Don on 02.08.15 at 5:55 pm
Why aren’t realtors regulated yet?
What’s the Government waiting for?

(more questions can be asked of course)

Ok – just a thought

We are about to experience a wave of retirement (North America) unmatched in modern times. OAS will most likely become income and asset tested.

IS the political plan to allow boomers to make huge windfalls off the backs of those who lack the true info to bid appropriately. IS that the plan to indebt the young so as alleviate the future demand the boomers will put on the system. You can check if a car has been in an accident but not a poorly built house that langusihes on the market.

What we have now is special interest politicians nothing more and nothing less. Of course we have some good ones as well, but they need us to spread the word – they can’t do it alone. Well maybe Garth can – he’s done a good job thus far.

#72 april on 02.08.15 at 6:03 pm

#213 – Yes I’d also be interested to know what happened to this person who no longer posts….???

#73 B.O.B. on 02.08.15 at 6:05 pm

The further the disconnect between market conditions and the pitch realtors make sellers to win a listing, the longer these properties languish. Sellers with a time line eventually capitulate and learn the difference between valuation and price discovery.

Here in Abbotsford many properties listed at assessed are sitting for 6-9 months; then de-listed until the next spring or re-listed as new. This behaviour has been evident to me for about two years now. The supply demand imbalance has definitely tipped in the buyers favour even with listings being light; perhaps a sign of market saturation.

It’s been interesting to see opinion on the subject change quicker amongst my boomer peers than it has in the younger generations. I suggest perspective buyers rely less on realtors, reports and graphs and put more weight in observation. Market tell tales can be obvious to spot for those that bother to look.

#74 Good News on 02.08.15 at 6:08 pm

National Bank Of Canada was sued and the National Bank Of Canada Lost.

Total Canadian Government and News Media Blackout.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40Jz0LPQAQY

OMG. It’s the Bank of Canada, not the National Bank. It did not lose a suit. And this is a bogus story. The Internet’s finest hour. — Garth

#75 Moses71 on 02.08.15 at 6:17 pm

I’ve already started almost daily (except Saturday’s, of course) Garth Turner educational readings with my 16year old daughter. It’s never too early!!!
As far as “idiotic buyers/investors'” sympathy? Sympathy for egos, eh? Since when?

#76 Mark on 02.08.15 at 6:20 pm

“There was a person in Vancouver posting price and listing history for some houses on their blog. Sadly, there hasn’t been a post since July 8, 2014. Very interesting how prices changed. I wonder what happened to this person. “

The Realtor trolls got one of Redflagdeals.com’s most useful posters on Real Estate banned around that timeframe as well. After trolling him to death, personal attacks, and a whole pile of stuff that was just plain made-up. Why? Because he dare pointed out that the sales mix changes were covering up RE declines in most major Canadian markets.

So who knows what they did to that guy? When so much money, and so many jobs are riding on the Ponzi scheme of dramatically overpriced Canadian real estate, and when the RE sell-side has to conjure up so many lies and half-truths, there’s no telling to what lengths they’ll go in order to try and push their point of view. As discreditable as it is. “Goebbels would be proud” indeed.

#77 For those about to flop... on 02.08.15 at 6:22 pm

I used to read Vancouver Price Drop,it was actually how I found this blog .
More than once someone commented “I wonder what Garth Turner would say?”.
I didn’t know who Garth was ,grew up Tasmania .
Anyway I will just put this out there ,what about if the real estate cartel found out who Vancouver Price Drop was and threatened them with legal action if they didn’t stop?Or just paid them off even?

#78 Marco on 02.08.15 at 6:22 pm

@April

Fair enough, Caveat Emptor. I agree, but misleading, fudged data etc.. Should be shunned and exposed by an impartial party, in a free market. What the RE industry is running right now is Dictatorship over data. Obviously the RE industry will fight tooth and nail to keep any sort of negative data to be released that would negate consumer confidence and lead to asset deflation. We probably will need a correction for a website like Zillow or others to be implemented.
Cheers.

#79 Mike on 02.08.15 at 6:32 pm

One piece of RE information that is sorely missing is the historic price per square foot data for respective housing type in a given geographic area.

Knowing how long the property has been on the market and how many times price has been reduced in the past are nice to haves – but ultimately its historic price/per foot data based on actualized sales that is the best factor in figuring out real values. The value of used quartz counter tops and stainless steel appliances is subjective at best.

Give us the straight goods – reliable historic price per sq foot data, based on housing type and specific geo areas.

#80 Mark on 02.08.15 at 6:35 pm

“What the RE industry is running right now is Dictatorship over data. Obviously the RE industry will fight tooth and nail to keep any sort of negative data to be released that would negate consumer confidence and lead to asset deflation. “

For most of the past 2 years, its been easy enough to deduce falling prices from the Realtor-supplied data and other macro data. The problem has been, the Realtors have been able to assert an overwhelming control over the media, and have been able to have their press releases re-printed, almost verbatim, as “news”. So when someone makes the claim that RE prices have fallen, a statement rooted in fact in most of Canada, the sell-siders can merely quote up 5 copies of their press-release published as news/gospel, in major newspapers and call you a crackpot.

Of course, now that the declines are un-deniable, I fully expect, in the interest of stoking transactions, that the Realtors will magically be more forthcoming with the data. Of course, doing their best to limit access to previous data that might cast significant shadows on their public credibility, whatever little might be left of it. After all, Realtors run a transactional business, and if they can get plenty of people to panic sell, they’ll still make money on the downside.

Hopefully the Competition Bureau will continue to look at the practices, the conspiracy that likely exists between various chained franchisors of RE agents on pricing and data access, and take additional action. But I wouldn’t hold my breath too long, given that the government in power was largely elected on the efforts of small business at the grassroots level.

#81 data screwed on 02.08.15 at 6:36 pm

Probably not coincident that while real time trading data is available publicly from the US exchanges, the Canadian TSX is delayed by 20 minutes, unless one pays extra for it or has over $250K holdings or trades withe certain frequency in every quarter.

These Canadian industry data monopolies and monetizations should be illegal.

#82 upacreekwithoutapaddle on 02.08.15 at 6:42 pm

Sooner or later lenders will demand appraisers include selling histories of neighborhood area homes, just they did as the US market started tanking. The shareholders of bank stocks expect full accountability in tough times especially as jobs will be on the line ty

#83 alison on 02.08.15 at 6:42 pm

Ok I sold real estate in the US for many years. Yes say what a bad person I am, etc. However, after selling many of the wall street type they would NEVER put an offer in on a property without knowing the FULL sales history, of not only the house but the neighborhood. If the house was listed and relisted it would not matter whether it was a new agency – all of the data is important. I really think not knowing whether a house was listed or relisted is a very stupid question not to ask your agent. As an agent I would prefer all the historical data that was available, including going to the town hall and getting the tax assessors information with the correct square footage and the legal description which gives info on the site (if there are easements, etc.)

#84 User submitted data on 02.08.15 at 6:51 pm

We should set up a site/apps where sellers and buyers can submit their own data to a public database.

Home owners would also insist that any data related to their property obviously belongs to them and they don’t grant any real estate agency the right to turn the real estate owner’s data into a “proprietary” data of the real estate board.

No data transparency – no listing for agent and the real estate company. Period.

#85 aL pacino on 02.08.15 at 7:02 pm

#11 TS on 02.08.15 at 2:02 pm
Question: When a house goes 90 or 120 days without selling and the owners move to a different real estate agent does the clock start again at zero?

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

YES, IT DOES.

#86 SurreyMom on 02.08.15 at 7:04 pm

Love the picture Garth. So are you ripping the realtors a new one :)

#87 Mike T. on 02.08.15 at 7:04 pm

holy smokes it’s -10 in TO?
I just went to the driving range in Kelowna….the grass is already growing a bit.

The 5 weeks of winter was particularly snowy here….

#88 Van Isle Renter on 02.08.15 at 7:06 pm

It’s unrealistic to expect federal or provincial oversight of realtors. All levels of government have a vested interest in ensuring that this particular Gong Show continues to resonate loudly.

I especially enjoy the comments on Toronto being considered a city on par with New York and London. They remind me of the motto of the lonesome ‘burgh of Biggar, SK.

“New York is big, but this is Biggar!!”

Funny in a pathetic sort of way.

#89 Freedom First on 02.08.15 at 7:12 pm

Enjoyed the Post and the comments today. Interesting to see the attack on the unregulated RE industry and its accomplices. However, it is also interesting to see that “the blame the victim” mentality is thriving, as well as “the shoot the messenger” mentality towards the truth tellers.

For myself, I am fully aware of what I can’t change in a corrupt world, and, at the same time, what I can do to look after my own interests the best I can, because if I don’t, the lying evil wolves of this corrupt world will eat me alive and feel no remorse, nor face any penalty for doing so, as I will be blamed for my own stupidity. Screw ethics and morality.

I appreciate Garth’s pathetic free Blog for revealing the truth, and to the people who call me a bum kisser when I say this, “KMA”.

#90 Mike on 02.08.15 at 7:13 pm

#76 Mark,
When so much money, and so many jobs are riding on the Ponzi scheme of dramatically overpriced Canadian real estate, and when the RE sell-side has to conjure up so many lies and half-truths, there’s no telling to what lengths they’ll go in order to try and push their point of view.

I agree Mark, but the ponzi scheme has a long way to go, still (talking 416 here). With new micro condos (330 sq ft and less) starting to spring up like mushrooms – we’ll hear ‘year over year sales up up and up’ for years to come. These units are essentially walk-in closets marketed aggressively as the next best thing in urban ‘living’. To add to my earlier comment about prices pre sq/ft, these things will most definitely be a rip-off, but at $170 – $220K a pop today – even part-time Starbucks baristas will be getting in on the action.

By the law of supply and demand alone – you can bet that over the next 5 years – price of Freeholds and Townhouses moving up is a virtual certainty. Even 650+ sq sized condos build post 2000 will have a very good chance of appreciating over this same period. All this fuelled by cheep money which will only keep flowing for some time to come.

#91 DR on 02.08.15 at 7:18 pm

Mark on 02.08.15 at 6:20 pm

The Realtor trolls got one of Redflagdeals.com’s most useful posters on Real Estate banned around that timeframe as well. After trolling him to death, personal attacks, and a whole pile of stuff that was just plain made-up. Why? Because he dare pointed out that the sales mix changes were covering up RE declines in most major Canadian markets.

So who knows what they did to that guy?

Mark, that’s you. You need to take a break from the keyboard, man.

#92 Hawk on 02.08.15 at 7:28 pm

#3 Bottoms_Up on 02.08.15 at 1:24 pm

I can’t agree that sellers should be forced to disclose the facts of how long their property has been on the market or any information to the public.

Why on earth does the general population of a country have a “right” to know about any party’s private information?

If I was a seller and my RE agent or the Real Estate board did not follow the process, of requiring my permission, to reveal information about my property, I would cease to use their services.

No one is forced to buy anything if the price is not acceptable and the selling agent does not have a responsibility to anyone other than his client. The buyer can always hire a buying agent to care for his interest and nowadays there are a lot of discount brokers as well, that will provide market information readily to inexperienced buyers.

The real problem is that society has moved away from Caveat Emptor based on common sense to a culture of endless entitlement, where people do not want to accept responsibility for their own actions and blame others.

This is the MENTALITY that needs to change, more than anything else.

#93 Mark on 02.08.15 at 7:30 pm

“By the law of supply and demand alone – you can bet that over the next 5 years – price of Freeholds and Townhouses moving up is a virtual certainty. Even 650+ sq sized condos build post 2000 will have a very good chance of appreciating over this same period. All this fuelled by cheep money which will only keep flowing for some time to come.”

The “laws of supply and demand” are seeing prices decline in nearly every Canadian market and have been over the past couple of years. All it took was the industry supplying more product than there was population to absorb such.

The Bank of Canada is now staring into a deflationary abyss, and they know it. That’s why future policy rate decreases, just like this most recent one, won’t have any effect on the RE market. The peak was reached, credit quality peaked, and now its declining quite rapidly.

Not a chance that there’s a reversal from the recent price declines over the next few years. If anything, construction activity (supply) may very well accelerate on account of the lower prices because the RE developers have huge fixed costs in plant, equipment, and inventory to cover, against declining margins.

#94 palebird on 02.08.15 at 7:42 pm

#88
“New York is big, but this is Biggar!!”

Funny in a pathetic sort of way.

I don’t know about pathetic. It is very tongue in cheek and pretty hilarious if you have a sense of humour.

#95 mnpr on 02.08.15 at 7:44 pm

This question is a day late… but I’m wondering if Garth, or somebody, can answer a question regarding withholding taxes on US dividends. I understand that there is an agreement whereby the withholding taxes are waved if the dividends are on ETFs held inside an RRSP. However I’m uncertain if this only applied to ETFs that are listed on the American exchanges, or if it also applied to ETFs listed on the TSX. For example, I hold VXC in my RRSP which is listed on the TSX. Are the US withholding taxes waved for this ETF? Thanks for any responses.

#96 Randy Randerson on 02.08.15 at 7:46 pm

Yup, I once mentioned Mark77 on RFD and the post was promptly deleted, and I got a warning from one of the moderator.

Talk about free speech, RFD is fill with RE trolls who just pump up RE all the time.

#97 TJ on 02.08.15 at 7:51 pm

More posts like this please Garth. Expose the former used car salesmen and prostitutes who fancy themselves as “real estate professionals” for the frauds that they are. As you suggest, the typical Canadian makes the biggest financial decision of their life based on input from some lowlife in a suit who took a couple 6-week courses. Where are the standards in this country?

#98 Andrew Woburn on 02.08.15 at 7:58 pm

#256 NEVER GIVE UP on 02.08.15 at 1:40 pm

Just look at the taxi industry.
If you only knew how much money was kicked up to municipal politicians to keep out competition and limit the amount of taxi plates….

What possible benefit to society is there in limiting taxis.

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

Adam Smith got there first. “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

Once when I was a shiny new accountant, I served on the traffic committee of a mid-sized western city. The mayor tasked me with reviewing the city’s approach to regulating taxis. I had not an ounce of political guile so I thought he meant it.

My report totally agreed with your comment. I said the city had no interest in limiting the number of taxis, only in regulating their safety and quality, as with restaurants or milk stores. I wrote that the industry was currently regulated by the police who were so enthused with this chance to serve the public that they thoughtfully pre-booked annual taxi safety inspections. I recommended that the industry self-fund frequent surprise inspections at qualified facilities where they could not only detect faulty brakes but also meter tampering and wrong sized tires that roll the meter faster. I said it was unconscionable that a licence to use the public roadways, acquired at a nominal price, could be transferred at a private profit of many thousands of dollars.

The shaken mayor looked at me as if he had just seen a communist. “Do you realize”, he shouted, “if a breath of this gets out, I will have three hundred honking taxis circling city hall by noon tomorrow AND the lead story on the six o’clock news!” My report vanished.

The back story to taxi licencing is that there were literal wars between rival taxi operators in the thirties and forties. Even in far Vancouver, cabs were bombed and drivers shot. Canada was mainly then a blue collar country where grievances were not always settled in court. To make peace, cities limited licences and assigned territories to larger cab companies based around major pickup points like hotels and bus terminals. Over time this solution devolved into cozy cartels who somehow always got whatever new licences were issued. Brash intruders were warned off by the city taxi inspector. If you want a classic case of what economists call “regulatory capture”, this is it.

If anybody at city hall is getting plain brown envelopes it is not likely the politicians. They seem to live in fear of tangling with the industry. For some reason taxi drivers cannot see that they are de facto sharecroppers so they can be relied upon to come out in full braying force to protect Massa’s interests. No TV news crew can resist the spectacle of visibly angry little people rising up against insensitive politicians to protect their pittance.

Amid the green dreams of bicycle lanes and urban transit, have you ever heard a city planner say that we could keep more cars out of downtown if we just had more taxis? They’re more likely to recommend roller skates. Why is that? I’m rooting for Uber but being on the side of the angels may not be enough. One thing leads to another. What if people decided they could just open their own waste management company.

I was once took a taxi into Las Vegas. Out of curiosity, I asked the driver how one could start a new cab company there. After a long pause, he said, “You don’t!”.

Oh.

#99 Obvious Truth on 02.08.15 at 8:06 pm

The contrast in prices should make everyone think on many levels.

Does a bank teller or schoolteacher earn significantly less in NS. How about unionized construction worker.

Most people I know in these jobs own (pay a mortgage) on a home in the gta.

This will change. Keep your eyes on bank equities. They may be telling the story.

Thinking mark is right on the money tonight. We will soon find out how truly exposed people and financial institutions are.

#100 Victoria Real Estate Update on 02.08.15 at 8:07 pm

#28 Zen

Keep up the good work and keep posting!

#101 western observer on 02.08.15 at 8:08 pm

#11 TS

Here in BC, if there is a price change, it will show up as a new listing. Don’t have to wait until listing expires or change agents. I have seen a home show up as a new listing 3 times in 1 month because of price changes.

#36 Andrew Woburn

You mentioned in BC you can get sales and assessment info online. Please advise where. Thanks

#102 aL pacino on 02.08.15 at 8:09 pm

#58 213 fool on 02.08.15 at 5:20 pm
There was a person in Vancouver posting price and listing history for some houses on their blog. Sadly, there hasn’t been a post since July 8, 2014. Very interesting how prices changed. I wonder what happened to this person.

https://vancouverpricedrop.wordpress.com/

*******************************************
Probably got whacked out by realturds no doubt,,,lol

#103 DisgustMadeMePost on 02.08.15 at 8:21 pm

When I had to sell my home a couple of years ago, I spoke with the local realtor in the area. Very well known, knowledgable about the area as she lives there. I did sell, privately due to divorce complications, and intended to buy again and use my new found realtor acquaintance. So while I’ve been watching the market, she graciously put me on a mail list of my preferred areas. The info that came was great. Listings as they popped up, days on market, price changes.. Selling price AND price per sq ft. So I know, for instance that the shack around the corner from my rented house is on the market for 1,758,000 … More than a year ago it was listed for 1.3 and change… After months unsold, the price was RAISED to 1.5 and change .. Then months later RAISED AGAIN!! to its current level. (Only in the 604) Needless to say I wouldn’t touch it at these nosebleed levels. But I wouldn’t have know that if I hadn’t of been receiving those emails. I have not received any emails of late and I am wondering if it is because of this R E board move. Going to contact the agent. What a shame to lose that info!!

I want full disclosure… Sure I can ask everytime… But is there something preventing the R E agent from omitting truth?

#104 DisgustMadeMePost on 02.08.15 at 8:24 pm

#101 western observer on 02.08.15

Have you looked at evalue bc ?

http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/

#105 aL pacino on 02.08.15 at 8:24 pm

#67 Open Up MLS realtor scum on 02.08.15 at 5:44 pm
Those who hate free markets are known as terrorists? Does that make the RE industry financial terrorist organization? Why is the government allowing the RE industry to say and do whatever they want?

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

Because Canada is a ponzi-scheme …..The End

#106 Marco on 02.08.15 at 8:29 pm

@Hawk

“I can’t agree that sellers should be forced to disclose the facts of how long their property has been on the market or any information to the public.”

That’s the question: What came first? The egg or the chicken? The buyer or the seller?

Every seller was once a buyer. Perhaps they would have liked all the info at their finger tips when they bought the place they are now trying to sell.
Perhaps the seller is looking at buying another place and are now in the camp of wanting to know info on their new digs.
Cheers.

#107 Musty Basement Dweller on 02.08.15 at 8:30 pm

It wouldn’t be so bad if no one had access to the sales history, etc information. But the fact that REALTORS get it and the general public don’t? Omg what’s with that? Highly offensive.

#108 COW MAN on 02.08.15 at 8:32 pm

Sir Garth:

In my experience misrepresentation by omission is common in the Life Insurance Industry as well. No big surprise it flourishes unabated in Ontario’s Real Estate Sector.

#109 DisgustMadeMePost on 02.08.15 at 8:40 pm

Oh, and I had a conversation this am with a mortgage broker friend. He said business was brisk… Folks buying up 1,000,000 $ properties to develop with 20% down. Minimally that involves an 800,000$ mortgage~ $3200/mo to service. I commented about the unsustainability of that huge a mortgage(and that’s before building) and he said rich foreigners are dumping money into Vancouver because we are a SAFE country and basically on sale. So naturally I argued that if it was rich foreigners they wouldn’t need a mortgage to which he agreed saying that locals are building not for themselves, but to sell to the cash buying foreigner.

Who knows.

He wasnt happy about the situation either, but hey, he’s making a living.

#110 down and out on 02.08.15 at 8:41 pm

The Ontario Liberals passed bill 150 green energy act which meant a audit of the homes’ energy use before a purchase among other things ,this law was in part to help consumers but was never enacted.I wondered who lobbied the government not to enforce the law .

#111 Zinc Whiskers on 02.08.15 at 8:47 pm

Now I know why vancouverpricedrop.wordpress.com shut down…loved that blog.

#112 No Longer a Fool on 02.08.15 at 8:49 pm

Just hop over to CREB.com and take a look at the latest housing stats. Apparently the stats for Feb 2014 are “N/A”. As if the stats are not available. CREB is choosing not to publish them as it is in their best interest to keep up the facade of “Calgary’s housing market is HOT…limited supply…buy now or be priced out FOREVER!”

The realty profession needs some legislation or another form of federal oversight.

#113 Post #109 on 02.08.15 at 8:55 pm

Disgust made me post;

That’s what’s happening. Politically incorrect to talk about it, write about it… Comes from public schooling. But yeah, my buddies all build, wait 18 months (leave home empty) and sell to overseas money (recent migrants)…saving the GST as profit.

CMHC does not apply to Bancouver detached homes. Their limit is $1 Million.

#114 AACI Home-Dog on 02.08.15 at 8:55 pm

Good post ! It also illustrates why, if you are serious enough about the property, you should retain the services of a professional appraiser for a complete appraisal. Similar to a building inspection, it is money well spent.

#115 Chris in Nanaimo on 02.08.15 at 8:57 pm

….r.e. Self listed MLS.

When we tried to sell our home last year we went the self listed route, pro photos, description, etc, all up in MLS. Not one single viewing over 3 months, even though we stated we would pay the standard buyers agent
comission. We subsequently heard ‘off the record’ from 2 seperate local industry sources that our local cartel will not show homes that are self listed. So I’m guessing some sort of unspoken rule attempting to protect the realtor MLS listing only monopoly.

#116 Marco on 02.08.15 at 9:09 pm

@DisgustMadeMePost

B.C. Assessment offers assessed value for 3 years for a fee. I don’t believe it’s sale prices just assessed value, correct me if I’m wrong.
The owner can get more info beyond 3 years upon request and also for a fee.
Can real estate agencies access all the information? That would seem like collusion to keep assessed values up.
Is B.C. Assessment really impartial though? They want to maintain the highest property tax and a high assessed value.

#117 Victor V on 02.08.15 at 9:10 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/price-gap-between-condos-homes-in-major-cities-reaches-record-high/article22853067/

At Yonge and Eglinton, in the heart of Toronto’s uptown, Menkes Developments Ltd. is building its first condo project directed to young families. In the Eglinton, which is slated to open in 2018, at least 10 per cent of the units will be family-friendly three-bedrooms and the building will also have a dedicated playroom for kids.

Some buyers are now looking at condos as a long-term family home rather than a stop on the way to a detached house, said developer Alan Menkes. But the shift is happening slowly.

“We’re going to try to do more family condominiums, but the market is going to determine what we can build,” he said. “We don’t want to build things that the market doesn’t want.”

Even for the younger generation of homebuyers trend toward settling down in a condo has been painstakingly slow, meaning the gap between condo and houses is destined to only get bigger in the coming years.

“There is generation that finds it completely normal to live in a condo and not have any aspiration to buy a home,” Re/Max’s Mr. Raven says. “But they still have parents who they’’ve got to go to dinner with on Sunday and those parents are telling them: ‘you have to buy a house, you have to buy a house.’”

#118 mark on 02.08.15 at 9:21 pm

Why doesn’t someone start an offshore hosted aggregator of MLS data and promote the hell out of it?

Garth, considering they already hate you…

#119 DisgustMadeMePost on 02.08.15 at 9:23 pm

http://www.livefraservalley.com

Used to be a site where you could find all info about a listing … Days on market, price changes etc.

Site does not seem to be functioning …

Does anyone have any idea how many realtors use their private info to purchase houses that they list only to resell them for more?

#120 DisgustMadeMePost on 02.08.15 at 9:26 pm

Marco,

eValue used to show sales price of property sold within the last year. Not sure if its the same now.

#121 kommykim on 02.08.15 at 9:28 pm

RE: #115 Chris in Nanaimo on 02.08.15 at 8:57 pm
We subsequently heard ‘off the record’ from 2 seperate local industry sources that our local cartel will not show homes that are self listed. So I’m guessing some sort of unspoken rule attempting to protect the realtor MLS listing only monopoly

I have heard the same thing about the 1% commission listings. The local Realtors will avoid showing these listings to their clients unless their clients really press hard.

#122 Andrew Woburn on 02.08.15 at 9:29 pm

#101 western observer on 02.08.15 at 8:08 pm

#36 Andrew Woburn

You mentioned in BC you can get sales and assessment info online. Please advise where. Thanks
====================

This isn’t perfect but it helps. Realtors can get more.
http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/

Also our city, Nanaimo, has assessment data on its own site. Not sure about other places.

#123 Van Isle Renter on 02.08.15 at 9:29 pm

# 94 palebird on 02.08.15 at 7:42 pm
#88
“New York is big, but this is Biggar!!”

Funny in a pathetic sort of way.

I don’t know about pathetic. It is very tongue in cheek and pretty hilarious if you have a sense of humour.

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

Actually, Biggar SK motto is quite funny. TO pretending that it is in the same league as New York or London is just a refrain from the old ’80’s hit (Foreigner?) :

“You’re just a three dressed up as a nine
You’re only wasting my time”

#124 Underhoused on 02.08.15 at 9:37 pm

@#61 Fed-up

Those houses in Brentwood are 3-4 mill, not 300-400K (maybe you can get a tiny condo in Brentwood for that). Check Zillow for Brentwood listings from 299-401K: nada.

#125 Tony on 02.08.15 at 9:42 pm

Re: #10 Irish Stew on 02.08.15 at 1:59 pm

Texas lost around 10 percent when the U.S. real estate market collapsed. London and Windsor should lose about that (10 percent) if Toronto loses around 60 to 70 percent and Vancouver 80 to 90 percent. Hamilton would still lose about 30 to 40 percent in a crash.

#126 Mike on 02.08.15 at 9:51 pm

#93 Mark

I was specifically talking about 416 – where the demand for freeholds and condos runs unabated.

As for the so-called ‘deflationary abyss’, don’t worry they’ll, print, print and print away in due time. Most putting off buying now in the 416 won’t notice the impact of this until a few years later, when their ‘perfectly balanced portfolio’ which may well continue to ‘grow’, still doesn’t get them anywhere close to owning their dream home outright – or even substantially increase their down-payment (relative to the new RE prices).

Meanwhile, expect lowered credit eligibility criteria (coming our way soon – but not in those words), and hipsters with multiple part time jobs, and help from bank mom lining up to buy into micro condos in 2015-16. This will practically be the new ‘starter home’ in the 416. O yea, and the CND is down 20-30% so for foreign investors that’s a fire-sale.

The show must go on, and so it will – defying rationality again and again and again.

That being said – we are in a midst of a housing correction.

#127 Andrew Woburn on 02.08.15 at 9:55 pm

221 Washed Up Lawyer on 02.07.15 at 11:30 pm
#210 Andrew Woburn
#217 SWL1976
Powerful stuff. Keeps me coming back to this blog.
#238 AfterTheHouseSold on 02.08.15 at 11:33
Thank you for your contributions to this blog
========================

I appreciate the feedback but I must remember that it is the tireless efforts of our gracious host that gives us a place to meet. Well, OK, acerbic may be closer than gracious. Don’t want to spoil his rep.

#128 Paul on 02.08.15 at 10:01 pm

#62 What can we to to get rid of realtors? on 02.08.15 at 5:28 pm

Garth is there anyway we can put pressure on government to open up MLS to a more free market market which useless realtors obviously hate so much. Realtors have ruined the canadian economy as companies and factories are leaving canada in great numbers. People are so maxed out on debt all thanks to overvalued RE. Realtors are a cancer to the economic well being of canada. How can we blog dogs contribute is getting MLS opened up?
*********************************************
Hate to break it to you but all the information on MLS was accumulated by Realtor all Zillow and the rest want to do is tap into our computer system, that we pay dearly to update and input all of the information and photo’s . NOTHING IS FREE you don’t want an agent go and by a house private. Even Garth thinks people that invest on own have a fool for a client.

#129 Sydneysider on 02.08.15 at 10:07 pm

#32 Albertagirl

Great perspective. I’ll send that to my wife.

#130 S.Bby on 02.08.15 at 10:13 pm

In BC, the e-valueBC website run by BC Assessment Authority has been improved. They have sales history going back 3 years now and easy comparisons with other sales in the same area.

#131 Smoking Man on 02.08.15 at 10:15 pm

http://m.thestar.com/#/article/business/2015/02/06/realtor-scrambling-after-threats-by-board-to-cut-access-to-mlsmclean-said-he-was-unable-to-comment-as-its-not-my-baby-and-broker-tom-bosley-said-via-email-that-hes-out-of-town.html
…….

Gartho a topic for tomorrow.. TREB wanting to silence realtors who share sales info on line..

Go get em..

#132 Short Canadian Banks on 02.08.15 at 10:17 pm

Here’s my own personal doomer portfolio for 2015. If we get a deflationary crash you won’t lose your shirt, but if interest rates in the US do in fact rise and their economy takes off, you won’t get entirely left behind.

Still can’t convince me to touch Europe or emerging markets though.

20% in each of ETFs for:

Small Cap US Equities
20+ Year US Treasuries
North American Preferreds
Canadian Utilities
Silver

#133 palebird on 02.08.15 at 10:23 pm

#123

Trooper was the band I believe,funny song and appropriate

#134 Smoking Man on 02.08.15 at 10:24 pm

Damn, I see you already covered it today.

Perhaps I should get in the habit of reading your blurb before I post..

I’m exhausted, walking dead marathon on TV this week end..

#135 Hawk on 02.08.15 at 10:34 pm

#106 Marco on 02.08.15 at 8:29 pm

Agreed that every seller was once a buyer, but having access to information about private property belonging to another, without their consent, isn’t a “right”, in a civilized society.

Does the world get to know, how many shares a person owns? when they bought them? at what price? how many dividends they received? Nope, so it should be no different here, property is property, real or financial.

#136 Ted54 on 02.08.15 at 10:35 pm

Garth! Your such a drams queen. All this information is freely and easly available from Realtors. Publishing it might work for Buyers as a convenience but most sellers including all who have written here if they are home owners might prefer their information not be published.

Any buyer can simply go to the local registry and do a search to retrieve all the information they want. Perhaps you might mention this next time you beat up on the realtors

Real estate boards are the ones in the wrong. Send buyers to the registry office? Since when do they keep records of relistings, price changes or DOM? — Garth

#137 [email protected] on 02.08.15 at 10:42 pm

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/5329313-merkel-seeks-meeting-with-harper-in-advance-of-putin-meeting/

this doesnt look good

#138 Hurly on 02.08.15 at 10:46 pm

Victoria report……
Multiple offers and bidding wars on houses between
400 and 500k. Crazy!! That BOC rate drop really got the
kids hot and bothered. Also am seeing a very heated early spring market. Went through an open house on Sunday for a nice 729k home. Realtor let us know there was an accepted offer after 2 days on market. This will not end well.

#139 MLS information on 02.08.15 at 10:54 pm

# 128

I hate to break you, the same information in the US is publicly available. What gives?

#140 JWD on 02.08.15 at 10:59 pm

Favorite post this year. What a tightly controlled closed network these agents have enjoyed. Manipulating data at the expense of honest consumers about to make the largest financial decision of their lives. It’s unbelievable. I sincerely hope the regulators step in and make a long needed change towards transparency.

#141 Marco on 02.08.15 at 11:07 pm

CMHC trying to stem the flow of new listings in Calgary?

“http://calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/cmhc-forecasting-house-price-growth-in-calgary”

#142 Paul on 02.08.15 at 11:11 pm

The States are always ahead of us giving up there stats .
Good for them

#143 walter on 02.08.15 at 11:18 pm

I would expect that kind of information (going back at least 10-15 years) to be provided upfront….if the realtor is not going to provide it then I would tell him in his face that he can s…e the property right up you know where

#144 kommykim on 02.08.15 at 11:19 pm

RE: #128 Paul on 02.08.15 at 10:01 pm
Hate to break it to you but all the information on MLS was accumulated by Realtor all Zillow and the rest want to do is tap into our computer system, that we pay dearly to update and input all of the information and photo’s .

Typical salesman. Puffing himself up. The true value that a Realtor provides is about 20% of what is currently charged.

#145 Paul on 02.08.15 at 11:20 pm

Hey Smoking Man
All information should be public?
So put up all the stocks four x trades you make when you are in and out, the amounts and profit please be specific
Also post the addresses of property you own and I will disclose all of your relestate dealings so all the PUBLIC can see.
I won’t hold my breath.

#146 young & foolish on 02.08.15 at 11:21 pm

There is no point comparing house prices in Vancouver or Toronto with Phoenix or other southern US cities as so many people on here like to do.

#147 young & foolish on 02.08.15 at 11:23 pm

“I was thinking about a retired Greek military officier who got his pension cut by 20% under the austerity program.”

It could never happen here … we’re special.

#148 Realtors are SCUM on 02.08.15 at 11:24 pm

I have never seen such a dishonest group of shysters in my life. I find that most realtors lack even a high school educated. They are no regulations so that these shysters can saying anything without fear of prosecution. We all know why they refuse and are fighting to keep information under lock and key since it would expose their lies over night. You can see the fear from these scum bags of just the thought of a free and open market. Realtors are true scum.

#149 For those about to flop... on 02.08.15 at 11:24 pm

I agree with most people on here about a little bit more transparency in the real estate industry, but remember this transparency or not you don’t need a website to tell you that Canadian real estate is massively overpriced at the moment .
Don’t get caught without a chair when the music stops.

#150 young & foolish on 02.08.15 at 11:26 pm

The anti-realtor tirade is boring and not at all helpful. But the brown-nosed sheeple on here are sooo eager to please!

#151 Leo Tolstoy on 02.08.15 at 11:29 pm

I’ll be selling a 50 year old tear down bung in Toronto soon. This blog made me very happy. Bidding war!

#152 Brutus on 02.08.15 at 11:31 pm

The MLS are a lot like Putin in many regards.

But troubles like this will soon seem trivial.

From what my relatives are telling me about Ukraine right now, we are heading to a much bigger war by springtime.

The West will be fully involved. Harper will make sure Canada is too.

Catastrophe is coming. Real estate will be a sideshow.

The spring break up will tell all.

#153 CREIT on 02.08.15 at 11:32 pm

to #114
A little self serving.. but I agree with you

#154 Bdy sktrn on 02.08.15 at 11:41 pm

#125 Tony on 02.08.15 at 9:42 pm
Toronto loses around 60 to 70 percent and Vancouver 80 to 90 percent.
________________
Really?

Vancouver is going one direction only, and that’s up.
You seem bitter.
As it has been for the last ten years, houses sell in under a week round here. Even faster lately. Walked round the block today and saw 2 new signs that were not there on Tuesday, both sold of course. The rest of the country may get hit, the real money will continue to flock to 416/604.

#155 young & foolish on 02.08.15 at 11:41 pm

“Adam Smith got there first. “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

Hehehe … of course, you can apply this to every industry and would be wise to do so. Human nature does not change.

#156 Bdy sktrn on 02.08.15 at 11:42 pm

Ps the golfing has been mighty fine this weekend in Vancouver

#157 Scott in Gibsons on 02.08.15 at 11:44 pm

Good job recognizing the games being played with RE numbers. Why can’t you see the games being played with US economic numbers?

#158 Ralph Cramdown on 02.08.15 at 11:55 pm

#135 Hawk — “[…] having access to information about private property belonging to another, without their consent, isn’t a “right”, in a civilized society.”

Your concept of land ownership is radically at odds with practice in countries whose land ownership is based in the English common law, including the US. You don’t have the right to own land anonymously.

We’ve been keeping track for a long time:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesday_Book
To see what happens when people decide it’s inconvenient to register transaction details publicly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_foreclosure_crisis#Role_of_MERS

In many ‘civilized’ places, building plans and permits are on file and available to the public. In my godless metropolis, I can see summaries of my neighbours’ online.

“Does the world get to know, how many shares a person owns? when they bought them? at what price? how many dividends they received? Nope, so it should be no different here, property is property, real or financial.”

Private companies are private, but officers’ and directors’ information is still available from the government. Public companies? Not interested for the penny-ante public, but otherwise:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schedule_13D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schedule_13G
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_13F
And of course directors’, officers’ and other insiders’ positions are disclosed, and if you’re waging a proxy fight you’re entitled to send information to every shareholder.

For complete anonymity and privacy, you need to stick to stamps, baseball cards and fine art.

#159 Fed-up on 02.09.15 at 12:00 am

@#124 Underhoused on 02.08.15 at 9:37 pm
———————————————————————–

Ahhhh indeed, my apologies. Price of admission for a detached home with a Brentwood Zip Code is $1.5 million + as it is in Beverly Hills. I should have mentioned that he did drive us to the northern limit of Brentwood and about 3-4 km (3 minutes maximum), into adjoining Encino, Reseda and Lake Balboa.

Still VERY nice places to live and 2-5 miles from the most prestigious addresses in North America.

#160 Peter on 02.09.15 at 12:06 am

I would expect that kind of information (going back at least 10-15 years) to be provided upfront….if the realtor is not going to provide it then I would tell him in his face that he can shove the property right up you know where

#161 50 Shades of Harper on 02.09.15 at 12:07 am

What happened to Free Trade Policy – Were we not supposed to be on an even footing with the USA by now ?

How come we still have to pay more for everything ?

How come we do not have competition and better prices like we have been promised since the mid 1980’s – it has been almost 30 years!!!!!!!

#162 Chris on 02.09.15 at 12:10 am

To say you are right is an understatement. Canada is so far behind the U.S. in making information about real property available it is not even funny. Go to realtor.com or any of the dozen other U.S. websites and you will see all the currently listed for sale properties and also all the sold properties in a selected area. You can also see the details of those properties, when they are listed and when they are sold. If there has been a price reduction you will see that too. If you are interested in a particular property, go to the county assessor’s website, search the property by its address, and there you will find all the information you will need for that property, including sales history, current property tax and so on. So all information is available to the public. When everything is exposed to the public then there is a lot less room for shenanigans.

#163 whitehorn01 on 02.09.15 at 12:11 am

Personally, I believe the oil prices will persist more long term as what Garth alluded to the fact. I talked to a CEO for an Oil company in the USA today (Oklahoma), the rig counts etc. have not come down enough and production is still high. The CEO is still planning for this to persist for awhile and is very cautious. So, he sees it better than an outsider. With that said, it seems many people in AB are jumping for joy and expecting a V-shaped recovery. The longer this persists, I expect a good correction in housing in Alberta – its inevitable. I don’t expect house prices to rebound to pre-level downturn i.e. July 2014 for many years (5 years plus at least). Just my insight. I agree with Garth this will spill off to the rest the real estate in Canada.

#164 Marco on 02.09.15 at 12:13 am

@Ted54
“All this information is freely and easly available from Realtors.”
Haha, when both the sellers and buyers agent are being paid by the buyer who can they trust? You would think the buyers agent would be on your side, but they are colluding with the sellers agent for the highest price.

#165 Craigster on 02.09.15 at 12:24 am

Tip for finding out what’s happening: pick a small area, maybe one postcode. Watch the listings in that area like a hawk. THEN you’ll see the changes – and 90% of those changes in the area I’ve been following for the last two years have been downward. The problem is that the rate of change is so small as to be glacial; most drops are 2-3% every four-six months. Result? No-one notices, the listings hang around…

#166 45north on 02.09.15 at 12:28 am

Garth, the picture of one workman sawing a board on the back of another I find very disturbing. Not funny.

#167 april on 02.09.15 at 12:33 am

#138 – sure your not connected to the real estate gang…..

#168 DisgustMadeMePost on 02.09.15 at 12:39 am

Even if you think that specific price information should be kept private, why are the real estate boards allowed to pervert the statistics before presenting publicly? Why is the information not presented by an impartial body(assuming one exists!)? Mass manipulation. And that’s just wrong.

Did I just read …Paul?

”Hate to break it to you but all the information on MLS was accumulated by Realtor all Zillow and the rest want to do is tap into our computer system, that we pay dearly to update and input all of the information and photo’s . NOTHING IS FREE you don’t want an agent go and by a house private. Even Garth thinks people that invest on own have a fool for a client.”

You pay dearly ?? Sheesh… And I’m sure your commissions MORE than make up for it!

There is no possible justification for realtors’ pay scale.

#169 bogdog on 02.09.15 at 12:43 am

A few weeks ago I almost ended up in a fist fight for calling Realtors worthless parasites that could all be replaced by a few motivated university grads armed with a web server. I am appalled by the corruption in harpers puppet regime. Let’s replace this joke with a ligit government that actually represents the people who live here instead of banks corporations and lobbyists.

#170 TRT on 02.09.15 at 12:46 am

Vancouver prices to rise. Mad scramble to get money out of China before a devaluation.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trouble-for-china-as-money-flows-out-2015-02-08

#171 Bobby on 02.09.15 at 12:53 am

#138 Hurley,

Let me guess you are a realtor. I’ll bet you believe your own hype. I know the market very well here in Victoria and there are certainly no bidding wars and multiple offers. In fact, prices are dropping or listings are expiring. Do you want some updated stats? A colleague, a realtor in fact, has said the market is dead. Certainly not the market you are describing.
Maybe you are part of the herd of clowns at VREB who suggested higher interest rates would lead to higher prices. You can’t make this stuff up.

#172 TRT on 02.09.15 at 12:57 am

If this doesn’t ring alarm bells, then people are wilfully deaf.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1707666/worrying-slump-mainland-trade

–> China imports plunge 20%. Now how can that be? Wouldn’t that be a crash of epic porportions? HAM is leaving to be invested in RE around the world via IMPORT/EXPORT.

#173 liquidincalgary on 02.09.15 at 1:14 am

Van Isle Renter

“You’re just a three dressed up as a nine
You’re only wasting my time”

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

it’s a Trooper tune. and you get extra points for mentioning Biggar (near my home town :)

#174 Ralph Cramdown on 02.09.15 at 1:20 am

Some commenters’ stories remind me of this article, and its memorable graphic:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/03/business/yourmoney/03real.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

#175 Exurban on 02.09.15 at 1:38 am

I enjoyed Vancouver Price Drop myself, but its owner “Observer” probably went on hiatus because (1) it was a lot of work keeping it up and (2) SFH prices in the parts of the Lower Mainland that are most affected by offshore money are clearly not dropping. They are dropping in other areas, such as Langley, Maple Ridge, Abbotsford and South Surrey. They are not dropping in the core foreign interest areas of westside Vancouver and West Vancouver, and they are also not dropping in adjacent areas like eastside Vancouver, Burnaby and the part of Coquitlam I live in, where the For Sale signs last less than a week before the SOLD sticker appears.

#176 triplenet on 02.09.15 at 1:56 am

Privacy Legislation
Sale prices are available to the general public.
Simple

#177 Someone from TO on 02.09.15 at 2:05 am

I found out first hand that realestate agents also (can and do) lie about measurements of the property.
In my opinion this should be criminal, but what do i know. We need to be careful about that as well, these guys can say anything they want with no consequences.
I used to read a blog by some guy Keith from Phoenix quite a few years ago, about US housing bubble. The information that people were linking to was incredible comparing to what i can ever find on Canadian market.

#178 Ronaldo on 02.09.15 at 2:15 am

#96 Randy Randerson –

”’Yup, I once mentioned Mark77 on RFD and the post was promptly deleted, and I got a warning from one of the moderator”
———————————————————-

Yup, he was banned alright. Very active poster indeed. Something like Mark on the blog.

http://forums.redflagdeals.com/members/mark77-144507/

#179 David McDonald on 02.09.15 at 2:15 am

#53 Mark

I think you made my point.

Of course the currency is controlled by a variety of factors, many beyond government control. That doesn’t mean a currency adjustment doesn’t have winners and losers. Clearly in Canada and much worse in Greece the retirees will be among the losers.

Your reflection that pension reform will mean sacrifices by those currently on pension is precisely what I am worried about and indeed Garth warned us about in a previous post.

#180 Obvious Truth on 02.09.15 at 2:38 am

Check out 3925 Malibu vista drive. Auction block for 1.5M.(storied history was easy to find) I can see WUL there now. Just click those heels. Forget the refi:). Convert the garage and get a renter. I hear that’s popular in desired real estate markets where everyone is rich because they buy houses.

Why didn’t a foreign buyer pay more for this place anyway. Why isn’t malibu different like yvr or yyc. Maybe people like rappelling from their front door in toronto. Maybe torontonians dislike nice views. And sandy beaches. And warm weather. Foreigners must too.

Who bailed out the largest group of foreign buyers ever in Spain? Must be a crappy place to live too. I never really enjoyed Madrid, Barcelona or Malaga. The paella and sangria are second rate. The place is for losers.

I mean both places must be crappy if prices are so low. Foreigners must have made a mistake. So who’s left holding the bag, (Insert blog title). (This is starting to feel like an grumpy bird storybook)

Garth gets you real estate guys to spew sales baloney every time. It’s hilarious.

You make his point for him. He just hands you a couple pictures. Problem is that most people listen to your point. Why complicate things with facts.

Personally I have no axe to grind. Could care less about houses. Truth is they are a pain in the ass and cost me shitloads every year. But IMHO we are watching the making of a correction, last gasp sales pitches and all else. It’s textbook. Like a good sangria it has many ingredients and takes time to come together. And you drink it slow.

#181 protea on 02.09.15 at 2:43 am

Sincerely appreciate your insightful guidence, we are indeed very fortunate. There has too be a more effective way of protecting the publics interest in a real estate deal.Hopefully the competiton bereau and the courts will prevail in giving the public more transparency in a RE deal.There have too be some Western countries where they have got it right in the buying and selling of homes. if anyone has examples would be interesting to hear them.

#182 Vanecdotal on 02.09.15 at 2:47 am

#77 For those about to flop…

I too have long suspected that perhaps the author of the Van Price Drop blog got hit with a Cease & Desist order from VREB, as whomever was posting had access to detailed property price histories, and they stopped posting abruptly with no follow up or explanation.

Combine this with the fact that there were several other blogs posting similar information at the same time, that also abruptly stopped posting @ the same time and went dormant, or began to drastically temper the kind of data they were sharing, makes me go Hmmm… It didn’t seem to be isolated to the one source.

#78 Marco

Totally agree, good points. We need regulatory oversight of the RE industry comparable to the financial services industry, and nationwide market data transparency to enable consumers to make truly educated decisions.

I believe you are correct, it will take a major market correction (affecting a large swath of average Canadians) before we see any political will to address this meaningfully, (current TREB vs. Fed. Competition Bureau case notwithstanding), at least not until our elected officials can actually hear the pitchforks being sharpened from the windows of their ivory towers.

#183 BillyBob on 02.09.15 at 2:48 am

“#138 Hurly on 02.08.15 at 10:46 pm
Victoria report……
Multiple offers and bidding wars on houses between
400 and 500k. Crazy!! That BOC rate drop really got the
kids hot and bothered. Also am seeing a very heated early spring market. Went through an open house on Sunday for a nice 729k home. Realtor let us know there was an accepted offer after 2 days on market. This will not end well.”

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

Hmmm…I smell some pumping going on here. Like how you managed to reference “hot” twice in one paragraph, nice touch.

What you claim doesn’t match at all what I’m seeing. I’m getting several price drop emails a day from my realtor’s PCS service in Victoria, with the filter set for SFH up to $600,000.

The plural of anecdotes is not “data”.

#184 Vanecdotal on 02.09.15 at 3:10 am

#109 DisgustMadeMePost

“So naturally I argued that if it was rich foreigners they wouldn’t need a mortgage to which he agreed saying that locals are building not for themselves, but to sell to the cash buying foreigner. ”

Agree, interesting corroboration. This appears to be the current dominant buying force in many parts of Van and outlying burbs, including areas that were once HAM-my Hot Hot Hot Pockets. See White Rock & immediate area as an outlier for a once Hot Luxury SFH Market gone very cooooool.

Those luxury spec builds certainly seem to be piling up in the last few years across the Lower Mainland, while at the same time pricing in some areas is already drifting down. If the deep-pocketed foreign buyers aren’t snapping these up even at lower prices (relatively speaking), then who exactly will be able to afford to buy, and how long can the builders carry the financing?

#185 Lillooet, BC on 02.09.15 at 3:43 am

I wouldn’t need “inside information” to decide that the $1.7 million house on a tiny lot in Toronto is overpriced by a factor of 5.

Hey, if someone is foolish enough to buy in such an overpriced market, then I say go for it. Make yourself a slave. Borrow $1.X million dollars from one of the big banks and pay for the rest of your life. I own several banks stocks so your money will end up in my bank account in the form of dividends and capital gains.

#186 Kenchie on 02.09.15 at 4:03 am

“Toronto and Vancouver have flipped from being like any other city in Canada to being more like New York City or London. It’s unattainable by the local standards of affordability.”

I grew up in Van, then lived in HK (albeit briefly), London and now Toronto. I’m currently on vacation in HK (it’s awesome). And I can say with full confidence that your comment is a joke. Vancouver is nothing in comparison to London, NYC or HK. Toronto’s certainly more on a Beta level in the world class hierarchy. But Vancouver isn’t even Beta.

Vancouver is a bubble more so than Toronto. Foreign money (equity) needs to continuously flow into the city to keep it from collapsing. A fall in Chinese growth will definitely slow that equity from arriving.

#187 Kenchie on 02.09.15 at 4:13 am

#59 TnT

“Is it a coincidence that Australia, New Zealand (right next door to China and Hong Kong) and Canada (right down the street from China and Hong Kong) have 8 of the top 10 cities listed?”

Because they are all commodity exporters who have had years of increased capital inflows during China’s growth phase, which seems to be slowing rapidly. As a result, the inherently unsustainable income has allowed banks to lend more to households because employment was high and the economy was strong. Have you noticed a that all three have had significant drops in terms of trade over the past year? That means less income is flowing up these economies for their products, meaning less income on an individual level to service those household debts. Is it any surprise all of them have had to, or are contemplating lowering interest rates? Hmmm. All of them have too much debt secured against inherently unproductive assets, namely housing.

#188 Millmech on 02.09.15 at 4:34 am

I don’t understand the hate on for the realtors.I used a realtor to work with me on the recent sale of my place.He came over the next day after I called him and had a buyer for my place within a day, sold it for the price I wanted, possession date I wanted and no conditions.Gave me a great deal on his commission as was no real work involved he said.There were eight other units languishing in my complex and for over a year,with price drops and relistings.Not looking at buying for awhile but if I was to do so again I wouldn’t hesitate to use my realtor.Like Garth says use a professional in all matters be it financial,legal or otherwise.

#189 pbrasseur on 02.09.15 at 9:02 am

«But how would you know?»

You’re right about that but it goes farther than that. Around Montreal contractors are starving right now, I believe there are thousands of jobs currently being lost in the construction industry but much of it is going unnoticed because so much of this work is done under the table.

#190 pbrasseur on 02.09.15 at 9:06 am

«I don’t understand the hate on for the realtors.»

Realtors aren’t the problem, government regulation (or lack thereof) is.

#191 Nuke on 02.09.15 at 9:39 am

Picture reminds me of when my father-in-law had me sit down and lay a 4 by 4 across my legs and then tried to do a V-cut in it with a chainsaw. He stopped because I couldn’t hold to firm enough to prevent the saw from kicking back. All my fault.

#192 Harper is a LOSER and a crazy on 02.09.15 at 10:49 am

Harper your own party is running away from your stupid policies and you crazy ways. Hey Garth there were these two guys on TVOOR CBC and they both wrote a book about that crazy man Harper. Anyhow they were talking about how Harper feels threatened by rising stars and they mentioned you as very a smart man who was a rising star and that mad man Harper was threatened by you so he kicked you out. Neo CONservatives under Harper is the worst government in Canadian history and the damage to Canada will be felt for years to come. Garth get back into politics and join the Liberals as I am sure Trudeau would welcome a smart man like you who cares about the people of Canada. You are a true Canadian that really cares.

#193 JL on 02.09.15 at 10:55 am

I’m conflicted on this one. On the one hand, Realtors pay to compile all this data, house history, sales history, etc.. Should the public just have access to it? The completion bureau wants to make it public? What if CREA and all the local boards just decided to say “screw it”, no more MLS, no history, no stats, there does not have to be a public MLS.

Do car sellers have the history of their Audi A4 published for the public to see? No one knows if the used car you’re trying to buy has been for sale for 3 months or 2 years, no one knows if the price has dropped. Should Autotrader.ca be required to store that data and provide it free to every car buyer??

#194 Harper everyone is leaving the CONservtive sinking ship on 02.09.15 at 10:55 am

DELETED

#195 Snowboid on 02.09.15 at 10:59 am

It was a short few weeks ago that the self-professed gold standard of Kelowna realtors told us “… things are cooking here right now…”

Whoops, maybe his peer, Mr MJ Bates was correct after all!

http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-132464-3-.htm#132464

Usually if the REB is at the stage of reporting 15% drops in sales, the truth is likely much worse than that!

#196 Yyc not retired on 02.09.15 at 11:22 am

@193 JL

Buying a used lemon audi would be a 15-20K mistake, buying a house without access to all the available information could very well be a million dollar mistake.

#197 Enough with all the blaming on 02.09.15 at 11:23 am

OK Enough with all the blaming and finger pointing towards the RE folks.
They are only taking advantage of an opportunity given to them on a silver platter. As a matter of fact they have been doing exactly what was expected of them.
MOST of us would be speeding if traffic laws were not enforced or murdering someone we hate if those laws were not enforced either.
If that is what the government wants, then they simply do not enforce those particular laws. Its that simple. We were being manipulated to follow the exact path chosen by parties that stand to gain from our actions.
Who are the major parties that are gaining? The Government from the massive revenues generated by construction and a huge amount of offshoot jobs, trades and taxes, the banks from all the loan activity etc, the real estate people from their commissions plus HST and lastly the folks that were lucky to offload their overpriced homes to the sheeple.
The loosers? The sheeple who will be indebted for decades to pay off their massive mortgages. They better hope that we do not experience deflation for any long period of time. When this blows over like in the US, the middle class will be decimated.
The sheepie were carefully bred and coerced to be ignorant and stupid when it comes to financial matters, especially real estate purchases.
How do you get the sheepie to work for you? Easy. Manipulate them to think that they need the house (investment lol) decked with all the granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, the suv on the driveway etc and PROVIDE THEM WITH THE MEANS TO PURCHASE these goodies. Here comes the most important part of the plan. CMHC loan guarantees. Increase the limit of CMHC. Stack it with RE people and give the sheepie as much money as they need for their purchases. After all and the taxpayer guarantees it. WIN WIN situation for the banks. Why should they screen any loan applicants?? No incentive to do that.
After the 2008 meltdown the government saw no alternative but to flog this sector of the economy by whatever means necessary. Manufacturing was gone and the oil and mineral sector alone cannot carry Canada. So if you think we are a free market economy, think again. Massive government intervention and manipulation. Think of the many foreign temporary workers brought here at the request of businesses just to keep wages (and inflation) in check or the dairy board or liquor board to name a few.
Free market is a great system if left to run its course without government intervention. Let the banks take the risk as it used to be.
SO STOP BLAMING THE REAL ESTATE PEOPLE. I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH THEM IN ANY WAY. We now know the party to blame

#198 Bottoms_Up on 02.09.15 at 11:34 am

#92 Hawk on 02.08.15 at 7:28 pm
——————————————–
When buying a car, do you want to know what year it is? How many Kms are on it? It’s accident and driving history? Frequency of oil changes? Price that other people are paying for a similar or the same car?

Of course you do.

So why would buying a house be any different? The more information made available to the buyers, the more likely they will be able to make an informed decision. One would think we would want this for our populace, especially given it is the biggest purchase people make?

#199 Bottoms_Up on 02.09.15 at 11:35 am

#193 JL on 02.09.15 at 10:55 am
————————————-
The USA has handled the freedom of real estate information quite well. Why can’t Canada follow suit?

#200 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 02.09.15 at 11:39 am

#193 JL
This product is pretty well mandatory in the used car trade. Either you pay or the dealer provides it as part of the cars information. In other words, you can find out more about a used car than a used house.

https://www.carproof.com

#201 Bottoms_Up on 02.09.15 at 11:52 am

#10 Irish Stew on 02.08.15 at 1:59 pm
——————————————
No, Garth cautions on being ‘over-weight’ in real estate.

If you can comfortably afford to buy, and it is the right move for you and your family, by all means do it.

#202 Bottoms_Up on 02.09.15 at 11:54 am

#193 JL on 02.09.15 at 10:55 am
————————————
No, but there are a lot of data points that you do consider when buying a car. Buying a home should be no different. The only reason to suppress information is to control the market in favour of brokerages and sellers.

#203 Victor V on 02.09.15 at 11:58 am

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/outlook-for-alberta-grows-bleaker-by-the-day/article22856114/

Today, Benjamin Tal of CIBC World markets, projected that Alberta’s jobless rate will surge this year to 6.8 per cent from 4.3 per cent.

“Also important here is the trajectory of net migration in the province which last year was close to 100,000,” Mr. Tal said.

“The correlation between net migration and oil prices in the province is very strong,” he added.

“When oil prices fall, the response is relatively quick, but when they rise, the response (that is, workers return) is more gradual.”

Mr. Tal also looked at household debt in the province, which many recent forecasts have ignored.

And his concerns are troubling because the key measure of debt to income in Alberta is the highest among the provinces, and its growth rate has far outpaced the national average.

“The main factor here is the fact that most of the newcomers to Alberta are young families – with a higher propensity to borrow,” Mr. Tal said.

“This also means that the damage due to the weakening economy will be felt disproportionately by debt holders.”

#204 Paul on 02.09.15 at 12:15 pm

#144 kommykim on 02.08.15 at 11:19 pm

RE: #128 Paul on 02.08.15 at 10:01 pm
Hate to break it to you but all the information on MLS was accumulated by Realtor all Zillow and the rest want to do is tap into our computer system, that we pay dearly to update and input all of the information and photo’s .

Typical salesman. Puffing himself up. The true value that a Realtor provides is about 20% of what is currently charged
*********************************************
We don’t need to puff our self’s up according to the hater’s here we do nothing and are all millionaire’s
Kommy suits you

#205 Ronaldo on 02.09.15 at 12:21 pm

Have you heard? Micro condos now the “in thing”.

http://app.tmxmoney.com/news/cpnews/article?locale=EN&newsid=TB1020&mobile=false

#206 Snowboid on 02.09.15 at 12:26 pm

#193 JL on 02.09.15 at 10:55 am…

Why is it that all this information (and more) is free and available online in Arizona?

Don’t the realtors pay to compile the data here?

Comparing a used car purchase to a ‘used’ home purchase is kind of funny.

Buying a $ 35,000 used Audi – despite your comments there are thousands of free sites that will guide you on pricing, history (reputable dealers have a Carfax or the like available free), reliability, etc.

$ 1,500,000 used Vancouver home – nothing, other than limited information at BC Assessment.

Just a slight difference in dollar amounts, but why is it important to keep all the history on this home secret?

It’s about time real estate boards, agencies and agents in Canada realized times have changed.

Ask me if I prefer spending hundreds of hours with a real estate agent in Canada working out a home purchase, or three hours doing the same deal on a home in Phoenix!

Don’t worry, there will still be thousands of ‘Greater Fools’ who don’t know how to use the web – they will still need your services!

#207 Mike S on 02.09.15 at 12:57 pm

“All those claiming a correction in this real-estate market will be a “soft landing” are either woefully uninformed about history or suffer a severe case of cognitive dissonance – that would be all those who have a financial stake in seeing the ponzi continue. There is no such thing as a “soft landing” for a massive real-estate bubble”

Garth, I have to agree with the above
IF the government would listen to your reason a few years ago we might have a soft landing BUT they didn’t and this is why this is going to end badly for many Canadians

#208 Nemesis on 02.09.15 at 12:57 pm

#WhatCouldGoWrong?… #Well,ForStarters…

#YouCan’tMakeThisStuffUp…

[Bloomberg] – Bad News: People Are Living Longer; Just Ask AT&T, IBM and GM

…”Before the financial crisis, investment banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley joined an industry association designed to promote standardized securities that would package the risk of pensioners living longer than expected. Such longevity bonds could appeal to sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds and endowments looking for investments that aren’t correlated with other asset classes.

Deutsche Bank AG completed the first longevity deal involving third-party investors in February 2012. In a 12 billion euro ($13.6 billion) swap with Aegon NV, a Dutch insurer, Aegon paid Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank a fee to assume some of its pension risk. The bank then sold the risk to investors, who receive a floating payment from the bank based on how quickly pensioners die relative to an index.”…

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-09/bad-news-people-are-living-longer-just-ask-at-t-ibm-and-gm

[PandoDaily] – Hong Kong bitcoin exchange MyCoin believed to be a $386M ponzi scheme

…”The biggest victim is believe to have invested HK$50 million ($6,445,000). Clients reportedly don’t have any physical documentation backing up their investment, only trading contracts on the MyCoin’s erstwhile exchange.

One female victim with the surname Lau, who lost $1.3 million, tells the Post, “No one seems to know who is behind this. Everyone says they too are victims … but we were told by those at higher tiers [of the scheme] that we can get our money back if we find more new clients.”…

http://pando.com/2015/02/09/hong-kong-bitcoin-exchange-mycoin-believed-to-be-386m-ponzi-scheme/

#CouldBeWorse?…

[Independent] – Brazil mass jailbreak: Dozens escape Nova Mutum prison after women dressed as police officers seduce guards with ‘orgy’ promise

…”Investigators said two prison officers and their supervisor were found handcuffed and naked in staff sleeping quarters on Thursday, next to empty bottles of alcohol and a bag containing black leather women’s “police” costumes.”…

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/brazil-mass-jailbreak-dozens-escape-nova-mutum-prison-after-women-dressed-as-police-officers-seduce-guards-with-orgy-promise-10033707.html

#209 Millmech on 02.09.15 at 1:08 pm

#190pbrasseur,
I believe people have to understand exactly what they are getting into.I would like to purchase my retirement home,but unfortunately the price is still 60% above what the market should be.I have researcher this market for a number of years and am doing my due diligence just as I would for any investment and people need to do this for themselves.Its not the governments fault or my brokers fault if I bought Bre-X or Nortel at the top and am now crying about my losses,the info is always there to make a sound decision.Nobody is forcing people to buy and it’s only an “emotional”decision if you let you be one.

#210 ALBERTASTROPHE on 02.09.15 at 1:20 pm

2015 will be much more awful for Alberta than anyone has expected. 2016 will be even worse.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/outlook-for-alberta-grows-bleaker-by-the-day/article22856114/

Previous RE pumper Benny Tal now leads the Alberta doomers:

Net migration gains will stop

Household debt is worst in Canada, disaster lies ahead

Unemployment will catastrophically explode by over 50%, to 6.8%

The Conference Board also reports that the “consequences…will be swift and severe” for the oil price drop.

November 2015 will look a lot more like 1930 than 2010 for Albertans.

#211 Mike on 02.09.15 at 1:27 pm

The small manufacturing shop that supports the oilsands I work for in Edmonton has laid off 25% of our workforce today due to basically a 90% in sales reduction coming from Ft Mac. Our sales team predicts it won’t improve until Q3. It’s not that the oilsands are shutting down (That will never happen in our lifetimes), but the big sites are getting by via using up their inventories and not replenishing stocks… Which means no work for us till the fall. It’s been real ugly for us for the last couple months, but it just became official.

#212 Pre-Retiree on 02.09.15 at 1:33 pm

To #95 mnpr: This question is a day late… but I’m wondering if Garth, or somebody, can answer a question regarding withholding taxes on US dividends. I understand that there is an agreement whereby the withholding taxes are waved if the dividends are on ETFs held inside an RRSP. However I’m uncertain if this only applied to ETFs that are listed on the American exchanges, or if it also applied to ETFs listed on the TSX. For example, I hold VXC in my RRSP which is listed on the TSX. Are the US withholding taxes waved for this ETF? Thanks for any responses.
___________________________
I believe that in this case, the fund pays the tax not you, therefore you indirectly pay the taxes. But check on this or wait for confirmation from other readers.

#213 NoName on 02.09.15 at 1:33 pm

#193 JL
#128 Paul
#135 Hawk

now imagine that pharma doesn’t have to list side-effects and potential dangers for their meds, just because “they” paid for trials or they consider findings to be “private”. JL comparing a house to the car, that was funny!

#214 Ogopogo on 02.09.15 at 1:38 pm

#195 Snowboid on 02.09.15 at 10:59 am
It was a short few weeks ago that the self-professed gold standard of Kelowna realtors told us “… things are cooking here right now…”

Whoops, maybe his peer, Mr MJ Bates was correct after all!

http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-132464-3-.htm#132464

Usually if the REB is at the stage of reporting 15% drops in sales, the truth is likely much worse than that!

As someone who follows the MLS postings and tracks the malfeasance of the local REB on a regular basis I can tell you that it is indeed MUCH worse than what these animals are telling us.

Also, here’s a good laugh generator out of this article. Blame the snow first and THEN the oil:

“The additional slowdown can be attributed to the record snow falls blanketing our board area as the new year began, and the downturn in the Alberta oil patch negatively impacting consumer confidence.”

#215 Pre-Retiree on 02.09.15 at 1:42 pm

To #151 Leo Tolstoy: I’ll be selling a 50 year old tear down bung in Toronto soon. This blog made me very happy. Bidding war!
______________________

Let us know how it goes!

#216 Ponzif on 02.09.15 at 1:54 pm

Inpectors from WCB will be happy to note that the worker holding the saw is wearing proper hearing protection equipment.

#217 Simon Cowell on 02.09.15 at 2:17 pm

Reading for idiots bellow

I felt my intelligence (however insignificant it might be) deeply hurt after reading the article.
In a summary: No financial or liquid assets, everything invested in the house but don’t worry, be happy as most of us are proud brain frozen idiots and you should be happy to be one of us.

http://www.moneysense.ca/planning/the-all-canadian-wealth-test-2015

What’s the source of your net worth?
In Canada, home ownership is playing an increasingly large role in determining how wealthy we are—thanks to our seemingly bubble-proof housing boom.

So much house
About half of all Canadian households that own real estate are carrying a mortgage, and on average the value of our properties accounts for about half our net worth. But when you look at some of Canada’s largest cities these figures escalate, as What’s the Source of Your Net Worth? (to the left) shows. In Vancouver, for instance, real estate accounts for 55% of the average household’s net worth, and 65% of the average household’s assets before debt is deducted. “In B.C. a lot of wealth is tied up in real estate,” says Miron. “That’s great as long as the market stays up.”
Canadians in the lowest net worth quintile don’t worry about any of this because most don’t own a home. But homeowners in the second, third and fourth quintiles should be concerned, says Miron. Unlike their wealthier counterparts in the top quintile, they won’t have the liquid assets required to bail them out if the banks start calling in their debts.

The bottom line
We hope we’ve given you the tools you need to see how your finances compare with the people around you. Despite the income and wealth inequalities in Canada, chances are you’re discovering that it’s a great time to be Canadian and most of us have an awful lot to be grateful for, however we stack up to those around us.

#218 Debtfree on 02.09.15 at 2:17 pm

Good article in the Tyee today ” is Canada’s economy stalled ” harper is skewing the jobs numbers ala crea . He’d make a great realtor .

#219 cramar on 02.09.15 at 2:20 pm

#10 Irish Stew on 02.08.15 at 1:59 pm
What are thought so of buying a home in areas like SW Ontario where the costs are lower – especially in comparison to TO and VCR?

Is the fear to stay away from all real estate right now?
Thoughts would be appreciated.

————————

Ah! Someone who actually uses their mind to think rather than driven by hormones! I keep telling people that this is the place to retire. Here in Leamington in my neighbourhood, a 3BR detached brick bungalow with an attached garage can be bought for $150k-$180K. Compare that to TO and Van! It actually makes little sense to rent. Just don’t buy for an investment. It is a place to live cheap.

If someone likes boating it becomes a no brainer. Several Americans have told me that the Leamington Marina is the best they have ever come across. They love coming here.

#220 jess on 02.09.15 at 2:28 pm

transparency IS transformative

60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker investigates the biggest leak in Swiss banking history and examines HSBC’s business dealings with a collection of international outlaws.

The Real ‘Housewives’ of HSBC
When accounts in the leaked files list a profession, “housewife” pops up with amazing frequency. But these so-called housewives are not always what they seem.

http://www.icij.org/project/swiss-leaks

http://www.icij.org/project/swiss-leaks/banking-giant-hsbc-sheltered-murky-cash-linked-dictators-and-arms-dealers

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/darpa-dan-kaufman-internet-security-60-minutes/
Memex, a powerful new search tool that goes beyond the realm of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, is launched by DARPA.

#221 Rebs on 02.09.15 at 2:38 pm

If you buy without an agent, you are obliged to research the hell out of what you are doing before you get yourself into it. I think some people don’t want to do this so they go with an agent.

You are EASY PREY if you don’t do your own research beforehand and have a decent grasp of what you’re getting into. They will smell it from a mile away. Same goes for bankers, insurance agents, etc.

#222 Party in the Oilpatch on 02.09.15 at 2:40 pm

Worker safety in the oilpatch…

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/edmonton/Sexually+transmitted+infections+rise+Alberta+report/10797768/story.html

#223 Paul on 02.09.15 at 2:44 pm

#214 Ogopogo on 02.09.15 at 1:38 pm
As someone who follows mls
——————————————————————-
You,are a strange animal that needs a life
Get out of the basement there is a world up here!
Lol

#224 Marco on 02.09.15 at 2:45 pm

@Rebs

“If you buy without an agent, you are obliged to research the hell out of what you are doing before you get yourself into it. I think some people don’t want to do this so they go with an agent.”

It doesn’t matter if you buy with or without an agent, you still need a tool (Zillow) you can use to research.
Buyers and sellers agents are both working for the highest price for high commissions. Predatory sales tactics need to be combated.
Cheers

#225 Ray Skunk on 02.09.15 at 2:57 pm

#204 Paul

You need to go on an apostrophe diet.

Are you seriously a Realtor? Aren’t you meant to have a basic grasp of English when dealing with contracts and legal documents?

#226 kilby on 02.09.15 at 3:05 pm

18 Debtfree on 02.09.15 at 2:17 pm
Good article in the Tyee today ” is Canada’s economy stalled ” harper is skewing the jobs numbers ala crea . He’d make a great realtor .

He would certainly make all the other realtors look better…..Don’t think they would want him anyway,.

#227 blade on 02.09.15 at 3:14 pm

“Inpectors from WCB will be happy to note that the worker holding the saw is wearing proper hearing protection equipment.”

You need it more than ever when that blade hits the bottom.

#228 Victor V on 02.09.15 at 3:18 pm

Oil could plunge to $20 and this might be ‘the end of OPEC’: Citigroup

http://business.financialpost.com/2015/02/09/oil-could-plunge-to-20-and-this-might-be-the-end-of-opec-citigroup/?__lsa=5ef0-acf7

The recent surge in oil prices is just a “head-fake,” and oil as cheap as $20 a barrel may soon be on the way, Citigroup said in a report on Monday as it lowered its forecast for crude.

Despite global declines in spending that have driven up oil prices in recent weeks, oil production in the U.S. is still rising, wrote Edward Morse, Citigroup’s global head of commodity research. Brazil and Russia are pumping oil at record levels, and Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran have been fighting to maintain their market share by cutting prices to Asia. The market is oversupplied, and storage tanks are topping out.

A pullback in production isn’t likely until the third quarter, Morse said. In the meantime, West Texas Intermediate Crude, which currently trades at around US$52 a barrel, could fall to the $20 range “for a while,” according to the report. The U.S. shale-oil revolution has broken OPEC’s ability to manipulate prices and maximize profits for oil-producing countries.

#229 jess on 02.09.15 at 3:20 pm

voluntary tax program for the (undeclared) rich

The names of 1800 canadians was given to Ottawa in 2010.
….the detailed notes and how the clients /bankers were reassured by setting up these “offshore” structures .

Banking on Secrecy – how HSBC helped rich Canadians hide their money in Switzerland http://youtu.be/Gc48nu05HAs #swissleaks @CBCTheNational

=
e.g.
Case study: jailed for promoting a scheme

An accountant based in Vanuatu was sentenced to nearly nine years jail for promoting a tax scheme in Australia.

The accountant conspired with the owner of an Australian accountancy firm to help clients evade $5 million in tax over a period of nine years.

The round-the-world trading scheme involved eight companies whose money was sent overseas through a series of fabricated transactions and returned to the Australian company directors disguised as loans.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/ato-tax-amnesty-nets-billions-but-hunt-for-rich-with-secret-swiss-accounts-continues-20141209-1237mb.html

#230 TRT on 02.09.15 at 3:21 pm

Care to comment anyone?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/hsbc-documents-show-bank-helped-clients-hide-billions-from-tax-man-1.2950062

#231 Cici on 02.09.15 at 3:21 pm

Could this be the real reason why the OAS is no longer sustainable???

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/hsbc-documents-show-bank-helped-clients-hide-billions-from-tax-man-1.2950062

#232 Mike S on 02.09.15 at 3:31 pm

“Of course, now that the declines are un-deniable, I fully expect, in the interest of stoking transactions, that the Realtors will magically be more forthcoming with the data. Of course, doing their best to limit access to previous data that might cast significant shadows on their public credibility, whatever little might be left of it. After all, Realtors run a transactional business, and if they can get plenty of people to panic sell, they’ll still make money on the downside.”

Before Realtor(R)s start to make the money on the downside I expect the builders to come out with a significant discounts. Do you see that happening anywhere in BC/Calgary?

#233 Mike S on 02.09.15 at 3:41 pm

I mean the builders should be first to fill the market goes south, but we have this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/canadian-housing-starts-gain-in-january/article22856519/

#234 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 02.09.15 at 3:49 pm

Fodder for Smoking Man!
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/why-are-28-pages-of-official-9-11-report-still-classified/vi-AA9axGD

#235 Party party party on 02.09.15 at 3:51 pm

What a wonderful world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/09/nyregion/jho-low-young-malaysian-has-an-appetite-for-new-york.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

#236 For those about to flop... on 02.09.15 at 3:54 pm

How do you guys feel about if every house was sold at auction.
To my knowledge this is common in parts of Australia.
Sure the price could get driven up if someone gets carried away, but at least you would be able to see/hear all the other offers in person.
Any thoughts?

#237 POST #222 Oilpatch on 02.09.15 at 3:58 pm

Ask any Health inspector off the record and will say Dentist offices are the biggest spreaders of STD’s, not the Oil patch.

#238 Ex-Cowtown on 02.09.15 at 4:02 pm

I got a good chuckle out of the TREB saying that people losing their jobs in Alberta was good for house sales in TO, as all these newly unemployed people would move back to Ontario and buy houses…

What planet are these idiots on? People without jobs don’t buy houses. Wait… What??? You can buy a house in Canada without a job?? Or verified income??

Never mind…

#239 Pre-Retiree on 02.09.15 at 4:06 pm

Indeed, in real estate, it would be helpful to have valid information to make informed decisions, the equivalent of a Black book for used cars.
However, an agent who wants your business may be willing to provide you with the information you seek.

Prices in RE have definitely started their inexorable descent. I have been keeping my eye on a small corner of Ottawa where overpriced (but nice) houses have been languishing for years (not a typo). And only just this week, I have noticed that some but not all of the sellers have finally brought their prices down. It might still be too little, too late.
Luckily for me, not ready to buy there for a few years. More time for me to keep an eye on the market and have a real sense of where things are heading (down). Also keep on eye on how long it takes for a house to sell, or rather, disappear, and re-appear on MLS with another agent, check if the pcitures are seasonnal or not, etc…

#240 Lock up the dentists on 02.09.15 at 4:15 pm

#237
Ask any Health inspector off the record and will say Dentist offices are the biggest spreaders of STD’s, not the Oil patch.
———————————
Can’t trust the dentists

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMLKbXuv-xA

#241 Oil Is Sticky on 02.09.15 at 4:18 pm

#230 TRT on 02.09.15 at 3:21 pm
Care to comment anyone?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/hsbc-documents-show-bank-helped-clients-hide-billions-from-tax-man-1.2950062
——

And of course because HSBC is involved you know that no one will go to jail.

#242 Bottoms_Up on 02.09.15 at 4:21 pm

#230 TRT on 02.09.15 at 3:21 pm
—————————————-
Thoughts?

Hopefully the threat that more leaks like these will occur in the future will drive the criminal rich to come forward and pay all their taxes.

#243 Eyes wide open on 02.09.15 at 4:23 pm

@#75

As a result of discovering this blog and the comments associated my 17 year old daughter is hosting a two part financial literacy seminar series at her high school in March and April in an attempt to enlighten her peer group. She will be inviting parents and students and open attendance to the the three high schools within her school district. Rather than an admission fee, she will be accepting donations which will be provided to the charity she supports with her volunteer work.

Change can happen. We just have act on the information we glean to educate and promote change.

P.S. I also miss the wonderful work of vancouverpricedrop.com !

#244 Oceanside on 02.09.15 at 4:24 pm

Typical salesman. Puffing himself up. The true value that a Realtor provides is about 20% of what is currently charged
*********************************************
Try listing a place for 6 months or a year, advertising is expensive, open houses, sometimes 100’s of showings, sellers that want too much, buyer’s that are on the phone all the time wanting things “right now”, untangling a web of paperwork from banks, city governments, helping people with financing…I am close to a few realtors and would not be able to put up with the daily stuff they have to…

#245 Housing starts increasing on 02.09.15 at 4:25 pm

http://www.marketpulse.com/20150209/usdcad-canadian-dollar-higher-strong-housing-starts/

“USD/CAD is back below 1.25, as Canadian Housing Starts improved to 187 thousand in January, up from 180 thousand a month earlier. … The week ended with strong Canadian numbers. Building Permits, a volatile indicator, jumped 7.7%, easily beating the forecast of 4.8%.”

#246 Mike S on 02.09.15 at 4:31 pm

“As for the so-called ‘deflationary abyss’, don’t worry they’ll, print, print and print away in due time. Most putting off buying now in the 416 won’t notice the impact of this until a few years later, when their ‘perfectly balanced portfolio’ which may well continue to ‘grow’, still doesn’t get them anywhere close to owning their dream home outright – or even substantially increase their down-payment (relative to the new RE prices).”

One thing is writing these comments on main stream media sites, where people have no clue

But why would anyone would post these type of comments on this site?
It is very clear that this poster is not in touch with even the basic facts …

#247 young & foolish on 02.09.15 at 4:35 pm

Anglo Saxon countries run by Neo Liberals seem to all have very expensive RE … coincidence?

#248 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 02.09.15 at 4:45 pm

These bankers actively encouraged tax avoidance. Of course to expect any level of justice would be foolish, however, this kind of behavior only reenforces cynicism and undermines a civilized society.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/08/hsbc-files-catalogue-malpractice-bankers-tax

#249 young & foolish on 02.09.15 at 4:45 pm

“transparency IS transformative

60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker investigates the biggest leak in Swiss banking history and examines HSBC’s business dealings with a collection of international outlaws.”

People already know that big money gets a free ride, whether it be bail-outs, tax shelters, or the courts. The question is who and when is somebody going to pop that bubble!

#250 Paul on 02.09.15 at 4:48 pm

225 Ray Skunk on 02.09.15 at 2:57 pm

#204 Paul

You need to go on an apostrophe diet.

Are you seriously a Realtor? Aren’t you meant to have a basic grasp of English when dealing with contracts and legal documents?
———————————————————-I am Chinese and you are a racist

#251 Rob on 02.09.15 at 5:05 pm

#246 Mike. Why do you think what he wrote is so false? It’s actually true. Government printing of money lifts all prices over time. It does not mean that prices will not correct but over time prices will go up. At one time people thought a $300,000 home was crazy. Then 400k and then 500k.

#252 Ralph Cramdown on 02.09.15 at 5:05 pm

#244 Oceanside — “Try listing a place for 6 months or a year, advertising is expensive, open houses, sometimes 100’s of showings, sellers that want too much, buyer’s that are on the phone all the time wanting things “right now” […]”

I think I can speak for the entire world of buyers and potential buyers when I say that if you get anywhere near 50 showings and no acceptable offers, the market is sending a clear signal that you’re not listening to.

Plenty of agents think they can misrepresent properties on MLS and somebody will fall in love anyway, notwithstanding the missing bedroom and parking. They waste buyers’ time, and their own, and use this wasted time as a justification for high commissions.

Others think they can ‘buy’ a listing by agreeing to list it at an unrealistically high price, then grind down the seller’s price later to collect the commission — but not before wasting a lot of peoples’ time.

#253 young & foolish on 02.09.15 at 5:33 pm

“Government printing of money lifts all prices over time. It does not mean that prices will not correct but over time prices will go up. At one time people thought a $300,000 home was crazy. Then 400k and then 500k.”

Is this not true? Oh, and don’t forget, places where people want to live have a tendency to be more expensive.

Econ 101

#254 Rainclouds on 02.09.15 at 5:42 pm

#247 Y&F

Like America?

#255 NEVER GIVE UP on 02.09.15 at 5:44 pm

#98 Andrew Woburn on 02.08.15 at 7:58 pm

#256 NEVER GIVE UP on 02.08.15 at 1:40 pm

Just look at the taxi industry.
——————————————————————
Very insightful look at the industry.
Maybe your right about the brown envelopes of money not changing hands but I am pretty sure there is a lot of financial support for whoever is in municipal office.

In BC there are virtually no Private owners of licenses.
So I do not see why any cab driver would be upset if licenses were blown wide open in Vancouver.

Cities are under extreme from the Taxi License holder cartels to stop Uber.

What they do not foresee is a much much bigger and final change to the Taxi industry that will completely and rightly destroy this vile industry once and for all.

And that is “Self Driving Cars”. They will be here much faster than you think.

They are already here and are simply going through refinement and regulatory processes.

They will also destroy about half of insurance industry jobs. Not to mention all truck drivers will be gone in 20 years.

Actually I worry about the upheaval in the near future.
There is so much automation on the horizon that the feeding of our populace will be decided by governments and owners of the automation through welfare and minimum income programs.

Anyway I do not hold any hope of government righting the wrongs of the taxi industry before it is naturally destroyed by the above.

It is too bad we had to go through a lifetime of unfairness, loss of time through waiting for cabs that never come, and excessive cost that caused us to get into our single occupancy cars.

#256 Nerf Herder on 02.09.15 at 5:46 pm

#210 ALBERTASTROPHE

“Unemployment will catastrophically explode by over 50%, to 6.8%”

———–

I hate to see words like “explode” or “surge” in any reporting. Although the hyperbole is fun, just stick with the facts please.

#257 NoName on 02.09.15 at 6:22 pm

#240 Lock up the dentists
what are you Anti-Denetite?

@paul
loosen up buddy, been so uptight and moody lately?

http://youtu.be/mV7m6IIN_tI

#258 Mark on 02.09.15 at 6:31 pm

Before Realtor(R)s start to make the money on the downside I expect the builders to come out with a significant discounts. Do you see that happening anywhere in BC/Calgary?

Yes, there has been significant discounting in Calgary over the past year, and in BC/GTA as well. At first it was subtle, ie: “free” ‘upgrades’, Hondas and BMW’s ‘free’ with a condo purchase. Now the price reductions are more explicit.

With the significant slowdown in the oilsands, the developers now have an opportunity to significantly lower their labour costs, and I fully expect them to take advantage to bring more product to market. After all, in this game, the RE developer who converts his plant, land, supply chains, and inventory to actual delivered product with cash in the bank the quickest, wins the game.

#259 devore on 02.09.15 at 6:32 pm

#186 Kenchie

Pretty much. Anyone who’s actually, physically been to a “world class” city would never confuse it with Vancouver. Not read about it. Not seen it on TV or in a movie. Not looked it up on Wikipedia. Lived there. Walked the streets. Shopped in stores. Ate in restaurants. On a global scale, Vancouver is at best a resort town. Even comparisons to Seattle are silly, other than approximate geographic location. It’s a nice place, but come on.

#260 Albertagirl on 02.09.15 at 6:35 pm

#244 Oceanside

Not sure about the real estate market where you live but from my experience in Calgary, Edmonton, Landmark MB, Winnipeg, & Interior BC, advertising is FREE (for a realtor using realtor.com & their company website) and both Kijiji and Craigslist are free as well. If you put an ad in a real estate paper it’s about $60 – $100.
I have had realtors sell my homes (and I have realtors in my family as well, and no, I never used them) and I have sold my homes myself and almost NO ONE interested in buying a house shows up to an open house. Usually you get a few curious neighbors and that’s it, or no one at all. I have had a realtors & myself host open houses (in 2003/2007/2009 & 2013) and maybe 10 people came over all the years. Usually someone serious about buying will make a scheduled appointment. So as for an Open House, well, that’s a total waste of time. Pictures that I have used to sell my home myself, came from my cell phone & didn’t look much different than the ones realtors have taken, on the few times I have used one. I have sold 2 of my houses myself and other than posting pictures on the net, keeping my house spotless and having to show it myself, there wasn’t a lot of work involved. All the paperwork was done by my lawyer, gotta pay him anyway. Both times my house sold within 3 months. My parents just used a realtor to the tune of $25,000 in commission…. It took them 9 months to sell…. We both listed our homes within 2 months of one another…. Just sayin’

#261 Sue on 02.09.15 at 6:36 pm

#225 Ray Skunk: (lame spelling flame)
#250 Paul: I am Chinese and you are a racist
—————

Er…ladies, please! Let’s have a bit o’ decorum on the forum!

Ray, c’mon, there are worse spellers on the board. Including me from time to time. If you understood the intent, argue the idea.

Paul, if you are Chinese, sure, OK, happy to know you, but that doesn’t make someone who criticises your spelling a racist, just makes him a bit lame, in my opinion.

However, I do think that someone who is in the sales business should be able to spell “buy”.

#262 Russ L on 02.09.15 at 6:46 pm

Let’s get this straight.

kommykin criticizes Paul for being a selfish realtor.

Paul responds with a poorly written reply and calls him a Kommy.

Ray comments on the poorly written reply and Paul calls him a racist?!

WTF is that?

May I offer an edit to your poorly written reply?

instead of:
We don’t need to puff our self’s up according to the hater’s here we do nothing and are all millionaire’s

try this:
We don’t need to puff ourselves up. According to the haters here, we do nothing and are millionaires.

Better eh!

*************************************
#144 kommykim on 02.08.15 at 11:19 pm:

RE: #128 Paul on 02.08.15 at 10:01 pm
Hate to break it to you but all the information on MLS was accumulated by Realtor all Zillow and the rest want to do is tap into our computer system, that we pay dearly to update and input all of the information and photo’s .

Typical salesman. Puffing himself up. The true value that a Realtor provides is about 20% of what is currently charged
*********************************************

Paul wrote:
We don’t need to puff our self’s up according to the hater’s here we do nothing and are all millionaire’s
Kommy suits you

225 Ray Skunk on 02.09.15 at 2:57 pm:
You need to go on an apostrophe diet.
Are you seriously a Realtor? Aren’t you meant to have a basic grasp of English when dealing with contracts and legal documents?

Paul wrote:
———————————————————-I am Chinese and you are a racist

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

#263 BigM on 02.09.15 at 6:48 pm

http://business.financialpost.com/2015/02/09/alberta-home-resales-to-slide-16-rbc-says/

The headline almost made me laugh.

So many sheeple.

So little time left.

#264 2Sides on 02.10.15 at 7:17 pm

There are always 2 Sides to an argument. Unfortunately, this blog only presents one. Here is another

http://www.torontomarkhamrealestate.com/sold-out-cbc-the-toronto-star

Already posted. — Garth