No.4, baby

Housing slump hits 2nd homes: here cottage1.jpg


Greater Fool becomes a national bestseller

After just a couple of weeks on the bookstore shelves, Greater Fool: The Troubled Future of Real Estate has become a national bestseller in Canada. The Globe and Mail’s trendsetting list places it at No. 4, which is more than gratifying.

greater-fool-cover.jpg I had hoped this book would constitute a needed wake-up call for Canadians, so that they examine and re-examine the choices they are making, and think twice about our unhealthy fetish with over-priced houses. But to accomplish that, the thing’s got to be read.

So far, so good. The Globe bestseller list is here. Thank you, Canada.


#1 MissN on 03.29.08 at 12:20 pm

This is excellent! I am so glad. I remember last year a RE agent wanted us to buy a house around $1.3 million – and work to be done (the ensuite was right in the bedroom and if the bathroom door was open the one thing you would see staring you in the face would be the toilet and 2 small sized adults could not fit together in the so-called ensuite). Anyway, you get my drift. The RE agent said in a couple of years it would be worth $5 million.

I am so glad you wrote that book!

#2 Mo Ghaus on 03.29.08 at 8:29 pm

I like you website.

A lot of unbiased information especially for immigrants who are new in this country, not converant with the previous history of real estate.


#3 Re-diculous on 03.30.08 at 9:50 am

Garth, just finished your book which I thoroughly enjoyed and found your arguments quite compelling. I had not yet considered the linkage of real estate values to global warming.

I was surprised that the book contained no discussion of the price vs. rent ratio. As you are probably aware, Vancouver last year was ranked number 6 on the Forbe’s list of most over-priced real estate markets in the world based on this ratio (and has probably now moved to number 5 based on recent price declines in Los Angeles which was number 5).

Do you have any information about what the normal and sustainable value of this ratio (price divided by monthly rent) should be?

#4 Lance on 03.30.08 at 10:48 am

In a strange twist of irony, this book becoming a best seller may accelerate the coming real estate bust.

I am seriously considering cashing out my equity and becoming a renter for a while. I stand to lose a lot of money that, right now, is just on paper. My equity can make almost enough from investment earnings to pay for my rent… and I seriously doubt we are going to see a 6% appreciation in home values over the next 2-3 years…

#5 Future Expatriate on 03.31.08 at 8:17 am

Don’t just thank Canada… you’re selling quite a few books here in the US as well, as folks are looking northward depending on the results of this next election. Your much-awaited book will be arriving here probably today.

Thank you!

#6 Andrew pecchia on 04.03.08 at 1:02 pm

I have read the book as well and found it well worth the money , I feared exactly what Garth was saying my only fear was what if they can extend this longer I heard today we are selling more resources to china which will more than offset what we send to the u.s and this is helping us.. As well I hear the u.s
congress is speed pass a bill to help homeowners in forclosure situations.. I know this is only a bandaid , I suspect they will prime the pumps till the elections… Looking at history the last time this happened in the 1920’s .. stocks bubbled and when they sank then money moved to real esate , and when they tanked moved back to stock’s b4 the depression.. are we at the stage in the u.s where money will move to stock and cause another bubble..Seems like we live in a bubble ecomony… The other reason I believe it is not global yet is because china is refusing to tackle inflation till after the olyimpics in china .. any thoughts on these points ..

#7 Sam on 04.09.08 at 1:20 pm

Congrats Garth!

You only deserve one postion and that is number 1!
I hope to see you there very soon :)