Containing the contagion

New Zealand home sales fall to 16-year low


For sale in Detroit: 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath, 1129 square feet, lot 40 by 140, ready for immediate accupancy. Price recently reduced, to $625. (Yes, six hundred and twenty-five US dollars)

When the Canadian minister of finance stood before a Bay Street audience on Monday and said, “Canada’s housing market remains solid. It has not experienced the same stresses as in the United States, certainly not the same bubble,” he probably knew that was untrue.

While Mr. Flaherty was speaking, news was spreading of another 1,400 manufacturing jobs being wiped away, this time at GM’s plan in Windsor. As you might know, Windsor is a few hundred feet away from Detroit, and there are few better symbols of the decimation of the American middle class than in the Motor City.

The Detroit real estate market is in ruins. You can buy lots of houses there (no, not great ones) for $100 each. In fact, there are currently more than 1,450 homes for sale in that city for less than $5,000, and a staggering 21,000 properties currently on the market. At the current absorption rate, this means anyone selling a home will have to wait between three and five years to find a buyer. Historic mansions that fetched $1,000,000 or more four years ago can be had now for the price of a vacant lot in Etobicoke.

And While the Windsor real estate market has also taken a pounding, there’s still no comparison with the devastation across the river. Not yet. And that is where our finance minister looms large.

The best defence we have against being infected by the American housing and recession contagion is for the federal government to work tirelessly towards a stable and lower dollar, to harness runaway spending, improve competitiveness, usher in an immediate tax cut for working families, prevent the dismantling of our manufacturing infrastructure, accelerate corporate tax cuts and investment incentives, partner with the automakers on the production of green generation vehicles, and – above all – be clear and honest with people.

Mr. Flaherty cannot wish the wolf away from the door. So long as words, not actions, are his only defence against the looming threat, they might as well be truthful. Young couples buying over-sized homes with no money down and 40-year mortgages are simply rolling the dice. People lining up on sidewalks to buy unbuilt condos because they think they can flip them are irresponsible gamblers. Banks approving mortgages based on postal codes are courting losses. All around us people and companies are making decisions based on a Flaherty myth that Canada has a giant protective film wrapped around it.

They should know it’s not there. He should tell them. The Canadian housing market is under stress because prices have risen past the ability of families to pay, without taking on unprecedented debt. No-money down and lifetime mortgages are the Canadian equivalent of US subprimes. Will the outcome be the same?

One compelling lesson from the experience of the American middle class was the way millions of families were lured to financial slaughter by a greedy industry and voracious lenders.

Looking on were political leaders too gutless to be honest, too arrogant to care.


#1 Al on 05.13.08 at 2:00 am

No question a huge part in the decimation of the motor city is due to the losses in the manufacturing sector. Unfortunately for alot of people, the world is rapidly moving into the Information Age, and anyone and anything to do with the Industrial Age is in for a rude awakening. Just ask the 1400 laid off today from the GM tranny plant. The fact that North American co’s make crap vehicles with such bad taste in design, fit and finish, and road manners doesn’t help the matter.
With the RE market the way it is and headed, it certainly doesn’t help the matter.

#2 $fromA$ia on 05.13.08 at 2:02 am

Garth, inventory in Vancouver is beginning to pile up! Only 35% of home being put on the market are selling. We are at all time highs and rising!!!

#3 $fromA$ia on 05.13.08 at 2:04 am

It appears in a housing downturn that CHMC is going to be in hot water. Any predictions?

#4 $fromA$ia on 05.13.08 at 2:10 am

Don’t forget unreported inflation. My wife and I think that the Government is keeping this issue hush, hush.

Our food here in Vancouver on some items has gone up 30% while a medium coffee at a well know donut franchise looks like a small!!!

RAISE the RATES, Lets start paying our dues. No more of this instant RE gratification and blaming the lenders for it.

#5 David on 05.13.08 at 2:13 am

renos is no big deal with prices like that. A fixer upper worth fixing up to live in until a better house comes along that can be lived in rent and mortgage free. Money left over every month to invest in productive assets or a business venture or a retirement fund. The closer one gets to zero the better the cap rate on properties.
It really is a shame to see one of the world’s greatest industrial cities get hollowed out by the incompetence of short sighted management in the automobile sector.
At those house prices no one will ever go broke nor be an indentured debt slave either. Rock on MoTown lead the way to sensible house prices.

#6 Rick on 05.13.08 at 2:51 am

Houses at $625 That is certainly one way to cure the homeless problem.

#7 potchie on 05.13.08 at 4:07 am

seems the house too old for 16 yrs..

#8 vultur on 05.13.08 at 9:58 am

It’s not the house that’s worthless. It’s the land it sits on. Wanna know why? Because there are no jobs anywhere near that dump, crime is high, and people aren’t exactly flocking to downtown Detroit for the weather.

The comparisons are not valid. Darth Mortgage is a pitiful alarmist.

#9 matt on 05.13.08 at 10:10 am

Interesting….that same house here in Victoria would fetch a minimum 450K.

What a joke!

Yup this all going to end very badly……..and I’m with the the poster who said “why should I feel sorry for these people who paid too much”

Heck, stupid sheep deserve to get slaughtered. At what point did this all stop making sense people???

Houses going up 100% in 5 years on nothing other than liberal lending, silly amortizations and low interest rates is crazy.

FLIP THIS HOUSE BABY!!!!!! dummies watch too much TV I think.


Realtors are the devil’s minions….why would anyone trust them?

#10 Dom-GTA on 05.13.08 at 10:26 am

Vultur–It’s called a ripple effect. The smallest rock can create a tidal wave. Windsor will soon be like Detroit and then it will be Oshawa and any other manufacturing dependant city.

Times will become challenging for those who have bought at the peak and that will only lead to further inventory increases.

People will wait on the sidelines at it will all become a self fulfilling prophecy. While RE agents and others can continue to pump all they want, the inevitable has started and the downside is much higher than any near future upside.

This is exactly like Nortel in the 120’s and Google over $750, just not sustainable, and any clown who thinks this TSE rally is going to last is kidding themselves. the good news is oil will be well under $100 a barrel sooner than later and that will at least give us some relief at the pumps and in heating costs.

Prepare now before it is too late and thank Garth everyday for being a straight shooter. Even if it was only accidently, he certainly got it right this time.

Vultur, if you continue on your present course you will be far too ashamed to ever post here again in 12 months. Better to realise now what we are in for and to prepare.

#11 Rob Madrid on 05.13.08 at 10:59 am

Nothing like doom and gloom to sell a blog. And I’m as guilty of that as thenext person. I enjoy reading this blog as much as anyone, but to take Garth’s advice and sell my house and wait for prices to crash. Well I guess you’d be the greater fool.

My own opinion will for sure see a leveling out, and maybe even a small decline in prices.but a US style housing bust, highly unlikely.

#12 Future Expatriate on 05.13.08 at 11:03 am

No, unfortunately vultur will be here in 12 months, telling everyone with prices at all-time lows and STILL falling, “it’s the best time EVER to buy.”

Vultur is the exact opposite of his nickname. A far better name for him, her, or it would be “Realtor’s PRostitue.”

#13 Crikey on 05.13.08 at 11:28 am

I agree with Dom, Vultur…

How is Detriot NOT like most intdustrial-based cities in Southern Ontario?

Please explain.

#14 Andrew on 05.13.08 at 11:39 am

Home prices continue sharp decent

#15 Crikey on 05.13.08 at 11:58 am

Vultur, regarding your post, you seem to forget (or ignore) that yes, RE is local, but the economy as a whole is GLOBAL.

The UK and the rest of Europe, New Zealand and Australia are all feeling the effects of the US mortgage mess (and it’s not so much a mortgage mess as a credit mess). People owe more now than they could ever afford to repay, and the speculative, inflationary values of RE has been a problem everywhere. It will affect all economies, everywhere. It has just started to hit here, but will snowball. It’s just a matter of sustainability.

This mortgage/securities/credit scam has snowballed into a multibillion-dollar global financial disaster. As you are well aware, I’m sure, Wall Street’s banking giants packaged up these dodgy mortgages and sold them as investments AROUND THE WORLD. Our banks, super funds, even our local councils bought them. But when American homeowners started to go belly-up and housing prices crashed, these investments became all but worthless. That triggered a global credit crunch which has (or is going to) hit interest rates, share prices and property values. So, just LOCAL is this?

#16 SMWhite on 05.13.08 at 12:02 pm

I don’t see any reason to subsidize GMC, Ford or Chrysler anymore at this point. McGuilty hands over 1/4 of a billion to GMC and they shut a plant down a month later. Build efficient and reliable vehicles and the markets will take care of the rest. As for other manufacturing industries, we need to build quality products and bring the “Canada” label back and as Canadians, stay the heck out of Wal-Mart and all its “Made in China” plastic crap.

I agree with most Mr. Turner’s points but any effort to lower the Canadian dollar can only be done via cheaper interest rates and printing more Canadian money. If the bank of Canada follows this mantra then the price of oil/gas, which is in US dollars, will accelerate the price at the pump to $2 quicker then you can say “Manufacturing is damed if we do or damned if we don’t”

Time to get innovative Canada, and not just mortgage products.

Mr. Turner, how was CMHC(A crown corporation) allowed to implement 40 year mortgages with out any say from parliament/Canadians? And shouldn’t something as electric as this be scrutinized by our elected officials?

#17 vultur on 05.13.08 at 1:43 pm


I agree that all regions plagued by massive layoffs and uneployment will experience an adverse affect on the local property markets. I DON’T agree that the city of Toronto, or the city of Calgary will experience massive layoffs.

Oshawa will certainly suffer as will Windsor. I feel a lot of sympathy for the people who lost their jobs there due to the auto sector slowdown. Perhaps they will find suitable employment somewhere in the booming Alberta economy.

#18 Crikey on 05.13.08 at 2:28 pm

Thought I’d pass on an ineresting article from the Globe & Mail. The headline is:

Forty-year mortgages spark concerns

Here’s an excerpt:

“Any kind of a shift in lending practices that makes it more affordable for everyone will basically just drive up the price,” he said. “The other concern is that it could be leading to a situation where people are paying a lot more interest over the entire term of the mortgage than they otherwise would, and it could ultimately weaken household finances.”

Canadian consumers as a group could have less net savings down the road because many will still be paying off mortgages later in life, he added.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney recently told the Commons finance committee the central bank is concerned. It is his understanding that “the vast majority” of people taking on longer-term mortgages could qualify for a traditional 25-year mortgage. But the trend is adding momentum to the housing market and “if everyone has a 40-year amortization mortgage, then we just have higher house prices and the same availability,” Mr. Carney said.

For the moment, the easy debt is helping to keep the housing market humming, economists said. Any damage would be down the line.

Duh… do you think??!!

#19 JB on 05.13.08 at 3:13 pm

“It is his understanding that “the vast majority” of people taking on longer-term mortgages could qualify for a traditional 25-year mortgage.”

Sounds likely to me. The difference between a 25 year mortgage and a 40 year mortgage on a 300K home amounts to ~300 a month @5% interest.

If you are within $300 a month of not being able to afford your home, you’re asking for trouble if interest rates go up (going from 5% – 6.5% would just about do it).

Especially if you have two incomes going towards your payments, which presumably a large % of mortgages do.

#20 brazer on 05.13.08 at 3:34 pm

Seems like some banks are quite cognizant of the looming decline in growth of the housing market and the dangers of the popularity of the 40-year amortization…This out today:

But to hint at a crisis similar to the US may spark unjustified panic and result in a premature self-fulfilling prophecy so maybe that is why they are careful with their words when asked where they think the housing market is going.

Personally, if I do decide to sell my Toronto condo right now, at least I have the luxury of not having time constraint to do so (i.e. there are no emotional factors such as having to move out of the city that could affect my decision to accept a so-so bid or not) and for the time being, the rate I’m paying on my mortgage is an all-time low.

What does prompt me to think about this more than ever is the fact that our inflation indexes are up on account of energy and food so the central bank may start increasing the rate much faster than it decreased it.

#21 Dom-GTA on 05.13.08 at 3:56 pm


Please don’t take this the wrong way, but that is exactly what you should do…greaterfool? If you lose 20% of the value of your house over the next 18months? Wouldn’t you feel smarter having sold at the peak???

What if that 20% turns into 50% over 3 years??? Not going to happen? Maybe maybe not, but the value certainly won’t be appreciating in the next few years? Take some profit and downsize…enjoy the extra cash…

Or, go buy a mcmansion for 3 million in Vancouver, ultimately your call

#22 Terry on 05.13.08 at 4:19 pm

Since the WWII we have been building suburbs based on class. The middle class gets there burbs here, the rich get another section with nice views and large lots, single get there apartments in the inner city and while where at it will build the shopping and office space in it’s own little area. It’s time that city planners try new ways of building cities within cities. If we can build areas that contain all our needs from local shopping, restaurants, bars, condos, single family homes and work areas we would greatly reduce our need to commute for even the basic. We might even reduce city smog and crime rates.

#23 Rob M on 05.13.08 at 4:45 pm

Interesting that the Comments section [where most of the interesting debate is anyways] of the ROB/GM article was closed 4 hours ago. That almost never happens …

#24 Sold Out of Cowtown on 05.13.08 at 6:47 pm

I sold my home privately in Calgary and moved out on February 29th. I noticed in the same area, the same size and style of home on MLS has an asking price of $20, 000 less and it’s landscaped, my home wasn’t. I keep an eye on real estate listings and have noticed that they are going down, down, down. So my question is, how on earth can CREB say they’re going up, up, up?

BTW I also had a Coldwell Banker RE agent visit my house last August for an appraisel, and according to her she was expecting the Calgary market to have a lot of homes on the market next spring and summer and to expect a price decrease of 20%. At the time I thought she was just trying to create urgency for me to list with her, now I’m thinking she was telling the truth.

I hope the same happens in the GTA. I’m in between homes and would like to move closer to family but would hate to pay $325000 for a condo, I’d rather rent.

#25 Sam on 05.13.08 at 8:24 pm

Sold Out of Cowtown – Wise move!! Very wise move.

Just stay put. I think the GTA market is going to be even worse. I sold my house too after reading Garth’s . I found a greater fool and banked in a cool ’85 G’ (G = Grin)

I plan on being a renter for the next few years. The money I have ‘already started saving’ now will go towards my ‘ heavy’ down payment when the market bottoms out. My guess is 3-4 years :) My aim is go for full cash buyout if I could.

Thanks Garth!!!


#26 Dom-GTA on 05.13.08 at 9:00 pm

Sam, great plan. I go killed in the tech bubble and I hope too having recently sold, that I will be able to take advantage of this correction to buy my dream property.

I am liking the idea of a cash buyout. If I could find a way to work in the US, I would head to Arizona, Florida or Vegas and buy a beautiful home for 50% of the value and live mortgage free…

Good luck.

#27 Rick on 05.13.08 at 10:01 pm


We might be neighbours!! LOL. I sold my heap in Vancouver, November last year.

And ignore Vultur, he is the same idiot posting on Discovery Vancouver under 4 alias’ Realtor scumbag to say the least. Realtors are starting to earn the same respect as lawyers in our society.

#28 Bruce on 05.13.08 at 10:17 pm

I keep telling people, as I’ve maintained all along, that Canada isn’t in as good of shape as many of you think it is. I can see the writing on the wall. We consumers are carrying record debt, people are becoming more and more frustrated as the price of everything goes through the roof, and even our wonderful minister of Finance, good ‘ole Jim Flaherty recently conceded that dark clouds are on the horizon.

Folks, the ugly truth is this: We’ve had it too good for too long. We’ve tried to live way beyond our means, we’ve gotten drunk off the wine of mass-consumption, and we’ve borrowed all the equity we can out of our already over-inflated homes… When does the insanity end? Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a single family bungalow would someday cost over half-a-million dollars!

The party is winding down now. We’re finally taking off the rose-coloured glasses and getting a good healthy dose of castor-oil… Thing is, we brought this all on ourselves. My own father said as far back as 20 years ago that our day of reckoning would one day arrive, and it would be my generation that would inherit the mess… I’m keeping my guns and ammo!

#29 snapshot on 05.13.08 at 11:06 pm

Detroit might not be a good example of urban decimation based on the sub prime problem.

Detroit’s real problem is ‘white flight’ that has been occurring for over a half century, way before the auto industry ever felt threatened by anything. 80% of the population is black and things are so derelict that even the poor blacks can’t stand living there anymore. The most profitable thing you could do with most of it now is just to plow everything under and plant wheat.

#30 David on 05.14.08 at 1:18 am

The sub prime crisis looks like it hit Detroit with an awful vengeance.
In the mid 60’s Detroit had the highest median family incomes in the USA and the highest rate of home ownership among all the major American cities.
In 2008 the foreclosure rate on home in Detroit is to be 8 times the US average. By September 2007 it was estimated over 70,000 homes were in some stage of the process of foreclosure proceedings. There is an anticipated new wave of foreclosures in 2008 when the ARM mortgages reset. Up to 25% of Detroit area sub prime mortgages ARM style are already in default. With declining home values the possibilities of refinancing are next to impossible. It has also been noted that well over 50% of the mortgages issued in the Detroit area since 2003 were specifically of the sub prime category.
Given these awful statistics a home for $625 makes a bit more sense, not much though. In the sub prime race to the bottom it looks like Detroit gets a first place finish. Quite sad what happened since the sub prime crisis will impact about 250, 000 people or more in the Detroit area when all is said and done.

#31 wolfey on 05.14.08 at 1:50 am

Hi Guys,

I don’t think the correction will be as severe as you would believe. The gov’t will intervene. You say they won’t. What is the 40 yr mortgage about? The US decrease rates so does Canada. US scratches their ass so does Canada. The govt will collectively print money… anything to avoid recession. Recession is aa natural order of things. People who make mistakes should face the consequences that is why some business survive and others don’tSubsidizing mistakes is not sustainable.

But it will happen. gov’t know best…yeah…huh

#32 Brent on 05.14.08 at 7:31 am


Yes they may find work at (Tim Hortons) in Alberta with the booming service industry but you hardly qualify for a $400,000 smart home.

#33 vultur on 05.14.08 at 7:47 am


Rent forever, please! I’m probably your landlord! lol

#34 Future Expatriate on 05.14.08 at 10:23 am

Vultur, if you are a landlord ANYWHERE in Canada, your rents AREN’T making even close to your monthly mortgage if you bought in the last five years. If you bought before that, and you think continually lying and posting disinfo here is going to keep a bubble going, you’re woefully mistaken.

#35 Sphinx on 05.14.08 at 11:58 am

I finally got my hands on your book and read all in few days….very rich and insightful, and exceeded my expectations. The content addressed many aspects related to the canadian housing bubble, and you got me really alarmed touching on the subject of managed collapse & climate change…housing will be the least of worries when/if these climate change effects materialize on this planet….it’ll be survival at best, and I’d wonder if democracy will hold in times of chaos.

Back to housing, homedebtors who bought houses with 2 or 1.5 or zero down payment has nothing to lose, whether it’s 40yrs or 25yrs mortgage it won’t matter for them…they will just WALK AWAY, period. It’s part of the game, it is non-ethical and irresponsible to break a contract but it’s LEGAL. By the time their tarnished credit is fixed (5-7 yrs), they can buy at a better price point, and may be a better location, etc.

The group will be hurt most are those who put a decent down payment, or moved up using paid+gained equity from a previous sale…that crowd will lose the most, and would go under water once the equity is gone, and will be stuck in their homes. Those who bought at/close to the bottom of last cycle 1997/98 will fine, but for ‘a while’.

Taking US as a guide, record foreclosures is on a firm up trend for the last few quarters and will stay there for some time. Keys are mailed to the lenders…it’ll happen here, but our banking system is so fragile to handle this wave.

40yrs mortgage is very toxic, and it’s more harmful & a road to serfdom when putting 5% or more down payment in this market…that down payment will be gone.


#36 Sam on 05.14.08 at 12:01 pm


You take so much beating in this forum and you still lurk around. Only a Real Estate would have such a ‘thick skin’.

I am sure business must be really slow for you, that is why you get so much time to get involved on this blog.

#37 Rob M on 05.14.08 at 12:21 pm

Though I agree with a lot of you and thought [secretly hoping] for the bottom to fall out of the market, I don’t think we’re going to be Calgary or San Diego on the way down even though we’re so close to the rust belt and the US downturn is only starting to roll in. Condos will be pretty badly tagged as they should but I can’t help but think that the doomsday scenarios thrown around will come. Correct me please, but it seems a matter of semantics and overblown media coverage really … if housing prices have increased something like 82% since 2000 in Toronto [not sure of that number], then a 30 or even 40% drop over the next few years, the likely worst scenario thrown around, will simply ‘correct’ no? We’re not talking Grapes of Wrath here? Admittedly Garth is hyping this as best he can for the book – as is his right – but the reality is that we shouldn’t drink the kool aid like the pro-market folks we’re razzing.

My $0.02

#38 Andrew on 05.14.08 at 2:04 pm

sam …

what is the best interest your getting for your money?

#39 Dawn in Calgary on 05.14.08 at 2:34 pm

Calgary housing starts forecast to decline this year, rebound in 2009
Mario Toneguzzi , Calgary Herald
Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2008
CALGARY – Total housing starts in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area are expected to cool this year but increase in 2009, says a national real estate report.

The AltusClayton Housing Report said total starts in the Calgary region will drop from 13,500 in 2007 to 13,200 in 2008 but increase to 13,400 in 2009. The annual average for the Calgary CMA between 1997 and 2006 was 12,900.

Let’s see what 2009 brings. Meanwhile, I’m staying put in my rental.

#40 David on 05.14.08 at 3:25 pm

The top 10 foreclosure cities right currently to none one’s surprise also had the highest and most excessive levels of sub prime lending. The fact that these mortgages were a bad and harmful product should not be forgotten. When Detroit makes cars with a major manufacturing defect there is a recall and the issue is fixed. Maybe Detroit should ask Wall Street to recall its toxic sub prime mortgages before the city totally sinks in to the abyss of insolvency.

#41 SMWhite on 05.14.08 at 3:39 pm

Dawn in Calgary,

Real Estate “gurus” said the same about the US when their was the first sight of a chink in the amour. Then they said it would turn around the next year, then the next… Until people stopped listening to their fairy tales. Don’t hold your breath on a return next year or the year after. The industry needs to purge the excess fat.

A slow down this year and a rebound next year, problem is the physcology that moved the market up will scare the pants off potential buyers on the way down, its not the individual home owner that going to get hurt, because they made a long term commitment to a home. The specu-vestor is the one that’s going to take a well deserved bath and their panic will drive down prices.

These are the builders, RE agents that dumped their ill-gotten gains back into properties and the wanna be mom and pops that gave up on the stock market for the never ending riches of real estate.

Whats happening in the US is the people that stood on the sidelines and watched the insanity ensue are still doing so and will continue to do so until things level off. That bell curve that shot up is coming down, expect the same for the markets in Canada that had the largest run ups that are not sustainable.

Why would somebody jump into a market based on the opinions and hopes(Cause its really hope from the RE industries perspective that the market will turn around, no economic fundamentals) of an entire industry that has made billions of dollars selling a pipe dream, and got caught “stretching” the truth and ignoring recent history.

The truth is until housing in the bubble areas in Canada returns to affordable levels the RE industry will be stuck in a rut.

I’m wondering if the recent run up in the TSX has a lot to do with the “smart money” that has escaped real estate last fall and the spring.

Funny eh, 1999 the smart money was jumping out of stock and into real estate, 2008 its the reverse. Got to love these cycles!

#42 vultur on 05.14.08 at 6:06 pm

33 Future Expatriate on 05.14.08 at 10:23 am

Vultur, if you are a landlord ANYWHERE in Canada, your rents AREN’T making even close to your monthly mortgage if you bought in the last five years. If you bought before that, and you think continually lying and posting disinfo here is going to keep a bubble going, you’re woefully mistaken.
No mortgage payments pal. Thanks for worrying about my finances.

#43 Jeff Riverdale on 05.14.08 at 7:15 pm

More signs of supply coming to market across Canada:

‘Homes Market Flooded by Sellers’ Today’s online Globe and Mail.

#44 Keith in Calgary on 05.14.08 at 7:51 pm

Remember everyone………you are talking to a “self purported” $100,000,000 man here………LOL !!!

#45 Crikey on 05.14.08 at 8:05 pm

From the Grope and Flail today (the info is from the CREA, so it’s probably unrealistically optomistic):

Homes market flooded by sellers


Globe and Mail Update

May 14, 2008 at 4:23 PM EDT

Home sellers flooded the markets in Toronto and Saskatoon last month, causing listings to surge to a record level in Canada.

Nice to see you back, Vultur. The scavenging should improve markedly for you soon. :)

#46 Rick on 05.14.08 at 8:10 pm

Vultur, you didn’t comment on me making the connection to you and your postings on DV. My IT Bud in Van is helping me track you down so I can personally beat the crap out of your arrogant face. Wait sucker.

#47 Rick on 05.14.08 at 8:11 pm

Oh, slanted eyed faced, I mean. Getter warmer, arn’t I?

#48 David on 05.14.08 at 9:22 pm

The Wall Street Journal ran this excellent article a year ago on the deepening subprime mortgage crisis a year ago. It is well worth reading.

#49 vultur on 05.14.08 at 10:38 pm

Keith- what does $100,000,000 man mean?
Rick- what’s DV? You wanna fight me? For making posts on a housing blog? Damn, do you ever need intense therapy!

#50 David on 05.15.08 at 1:01 am

Up until the late 1990’s Detroit by all accounts had one of the lowest mortgage default rates in the USA. Globalisation and sub prime mortgages hadn’t yet had a chance to savage middle class living standards up to that point.
Last year the Wall Street Journal ran an excellent article on the effects of sub prime mortgages on middle class neighbourhoods in Detroit. It is well worth a read.

#51 holgs on 05.15.08 at 2:36 am

Rick, not cool man… I’m as bearish as can be (have been for almost 4 years), but physical violence and racism are far worse than anything that vultur has posted.

#52 Son of Tom on 05.15.08 at 7:55 am

“Rick” is clearly unstable and a juvenile racist.
People don’t tend to agree with Vultur on here as it’s largely a forum for people who are of a similar mindset. I tend to disagree with him myself but threatening to track him down and physically assault him is disturbing ( and ridiculous)

#53 Keith in Calgary on 05.15.08 at 8:40 am


It refers to your claim on the Alberta Bubble Blog that you own $100MM of local real estate…….

Even more ridiculious is your most recent claim here that you are mortgage free…….

Remember how you ran away from that blog when you were confronted and asked for proof ? You know full well what I am referring to…….

#54 vultur on 05.15.08 at 10:09 am

Son of Tom,

I’m just curious what I’ve said specifically that you don’t agree with. Please enlighten me. To recap, I feel:

1. Vancouver is a time bomb inflated by criminal activity and primarily non-resident property owners
2. Calgary is going to pause, absorb inventory over 18-24 months and continue its growth
3. Toronto prices will probably fall moderately and move sideways for the next 2-3 years

I haven’t really followed what’s going on in the rest of the country aside from Saskatchewan where we all know that the boom is temporary and sure to end badly.

Anything else I missed?

#55 Sam on 05.15.08 at 2:15 pm

I agree Rick = Racist.

#56 Crikey on 05.15.08 at 4:10 pm

Get a life, Rick and Keith. You may disagree with Vultur and he/she may annoy you, but he/she has as much a right to make his opinions known as anyone else on this blog.

#57 Keith in Calgary on 05.15.08 at 7:49 pm

Got life !!

However, I prefer “facts” ( a non too subtle concept….don’t you think) as opposed to opinions.

Don’t you ?

#58 vultur on 05.15.08 at 8:33 pm

Wrong guy Keith. Sorry to disappoint. I am indeed debt-free, not an agent, and yes, I do collect rent.

#59 SMWhite on 05.16.08 at 9:46 am

Anyone see Lisa Laflamme and Lloyd Robertson last night on CTV news? Its a soft landing, what a relief…

Now how you can make that call when this country just took its second step off the ledge I don’t know. Soft landing is a nice way to say the RE market mania/party is over. Please, don’t panic…

Ok, Panic!

So how many speculators in the RE musical chairs game are going to get stuck without a chair(Or with an extra chair :)? Are we going to party like its 1980, all over again?

Dang history repeating itself…


As much as vultur likes to argue for the sake of arguing, to be fair he’s made relevant points on both sides of the fence(although at times contradictory), its his one line shots at Garth because of Garth’s contrarian view that make him sound like an ass.

I think Vultur’s outlook for Toronto and Calgary is way to rosy considering the mess south of the border that will only come to light after the next election. Maybe mine is too pessimistic?

I do “pity the fool” (the next US president) because the only tool left in their bag of economic tricks is raising rates. It could help us here in Canada and allow rates to stabilize or progress higher a step or two behind, then again that will put pressure on the price of oil and natural gas in Canada, which speaks for itself, high energy costs kill growth plain and simple.

#60 Dom-GTA on 05.16.08 at 2:16 pm

Vultur has actually toned it down recently and his “spelling” has gotten much better too!! (Just kidding)

Physical violence??? OOOOOOHHHHH isn’t that scary…LOL Internet is getting a little crazy for my liking.

Too easy to rant off and be anonymous….(well partially anyways)

Let’s all agree that Vultur has his place here considering that we would be pretty bored without him. Seems we are all relatively bearish and what fun would only like minded posts be…

#61 vultur on 05.16.08 at 6:19 pm

I’m very negative (don’t like vanilla terms like bull/bear) on Vancouver right now. I wouldn’t invest a penny there. The city has no industry to speak of and has an economy built on nothing. Values make no sense on any basis.

Compare that to Calgary where the streets are lined with gold. They have so much money there they don’t know what to do with it all! I think that there’s definitely too much inventory on the market and I think that prices will moderate but the economy will continue to attract high paying jobs and new bodies to fill up the houses. It’s ‘different’ (sorry for the cliche) than just about any city in North America.