Big Smoke sales choke


#1 Derrin on 12.03.08 at 11:57 pm

Here is Hong Kong’s market:

Home sales in Hong Kong decline 79% in November
HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s home sales fell 79% in November, the biggest drop since 1996, as a slowdown and a falling stock market affect demand. By value, residential sales fell 87% y-o-y to HKD 9 billion in the same month.

Source: Bloomberg News as published in Business Times

#2 Keith in Calgary on 12.04.08 at 12:04 am

Hey !!! She kept her gob shut. Just the numbers ma’am…….

#3 Joshua on 12.04.08 at 12:12 am

With apologies to those that are hurt by this news, as a potential new home buyer I have to admit some amount of glee (possibly bordering on Schadenfreude). I’m sure Karma will get me in the end, when we make our purchase since I’m hoping that at some point next year it makes sense to buy… I’ll be sure to stop back in here and complain about you guys negatively affecting the market then.

#4 POL-CAN on 12.04.08 at 12:16 am

So for the 416 area the average price is down 10 % and sales are down 55 % YOY? At this rate by mid December we will be at 2006 prices YOY… NICE

#5 CalgaryRocks on 12.04.08 at 1:19 am

I was surfing the web looking for some tasty squirrel recipes and I thought of you guys when I saw this:

The real life experience of surviving an Argentina style collapse.

#6 Future Expatriate on 12.04.08 at 1:21 am

Glad to FINALLY see all the investor/flippers/speculators flee the market and leave only increasingly savvy potential homebuyers sitting on the sidelines waiting for the bottom and only throwing out formerly “ridiculous” lowball basement offers.

#7 Larry on 12.04.08 at 1:49 am

All good here in Calgary prices are expected to stabilize in 2009 according to Remax. Luckily the average family can afford that average house which costs 400K LOL.

#8 Calgary_rip_off on 12.04.08 at 2:02 am

Catch 22: If Harper suspends parliament, the government will deadlock. If the coalition goes through, Canadian democracy will resurface and Oilberta is a goner. Kiss the high price of real estate gone in Calgary. Try median price of $110K. Hopefully this occurs. Alberta is too much like Texas. The coalition will break the meathead mentality. Harper’s democracy is USA style democracy, not Canadian Parliament. What a liar.

#9 Toronto Market Watcher on 12.04.08 at 2:55 am

#2 Keith in Calgary.
“Hey!!! She get her gob shut. Just the numbers ma’am….

Right you are Keith in Calgary, Ms. O’Neill has apparently got nothing left in the “spin cycle”, just like our old friend, “Baghdad Bob”, the Iraqi information minister during the US invasion, she too apparently has been silenced. But it’s still early, look out for some highly entertaining and comical interpretations of these stats before the week is over.

It’s also interesting to note that TREB has stopped reporting annual percentage changes in their stats the past couple of months. (They had no hesitation a few months ago.) I also note that there’s seems to be a lot more emphasis on YTD stats versus last year which of course mean nothing as this market has gone severely south in the past 3 months in T.O.
Ms. O’Neill should be thankful the shenanigans going on in Ottawa with humble Harper and the three amigos will steal the media headlines over the next few days.
She just may have a little less spinning to do… for now.

#10 Ess on 12.04.08 at 2:57 am

#2 Keith – Don’t worry, she’ll come up with some spin for the Toronto Sun or Star by tomorrow. There are lots of hilarious lines to choose from. Here are a few:
– It’s a buyer’s market and you no longer have to compete with multiple offers. Get your offer in today.
– With inventory piling up, buyers have more choice in the market. It’s a great time to buy.
– When we compare the square root of the average home price in November 2008 to the cubed root of the median price of a Big Mac in November of 2007, we see only a marginal difference in price.
– We forecast that the GTA will see a balanced market for the remainder of 2008 while seeing double digit growth starting in 2009.

I really like how when the numbers served them well, they compared current month sales to the same month the previous years so they could spew lines like “Prices up 10% over last year”. But now they have resorted to comparisons with 2006 and even worse, year to date?
What the hell is the value in a YTD comparison when we only reached the peak about 6 months ago?

I’ll say it again. How come when a CEO willfully and knowingly deceives the public, he/she goes to jail. But when these scumbags clearly spin information, nothing happens.

I have so little respect for these realturds. Don’t get me wrong. There are some legitimate, knowledgeable ones out there, and much respect to them for being honest. However, it’s fairly safe to say that 99% of realtors out there are pure scum (including Mrs. O’neal) and would be committing some sort of other fraud if it weren’t for real estate.

#11 JoJo on 12.04.08 at 4:21 am

It looks like shit hit the fan.

#12 FP on 12.04.08 at 4:53 am

Credit cards unkindest cut for U.S. consumers

Meredith Whitney, the Oppenheimer and Co analyst who has so far been ahead in identifying and explaining the weaknesses in the banking system, thinks over $2 trillion of credit lines, or 45 percent of lines available, will be pulled out from under American consumers in the next 18 months.
“We view the credit card as the second key source of consumer liquidity, the first being their jobs. Pulling credit at a time when job losses are increasing by over 50 percent year-on-year in most key states is a dangerous and unprecedented combination, in our view.”
Canadian banks are just starting to feel the pinch of recession. There will be an increasing appetite to cut back on consumer credit lending here as well….how will over-leveraged homeowners deal with monthly cash flow problems with fewer credit options? What a mess it will be.

#13 eddy on 12.04.08 at 4:55 am

Hi Garth, these song lyrics reminded me of your website.

#14 FP on 12.04.08 at 4:58 am

Lower mortgage rates help but jobs, prices key

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The lowest mortgage rates in three years are luring first-time buyers and cost-cutting refinancers, but falling home prices and mounting unemployment will keep U.S. housing in its deepest slump since the Great Depression.

#15 FP on 12.04.08 at 5:14 am

GM, Chrysler considering bankruptcy to get bailout: report

General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC are considering accepting a pre-arranged bankruptcy as the last-resort price of getting a multi billion dollar government bailout, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with internal discussions.
In response to automakers’ bailout plea, staff for three members of Congress have asked restructuring experts if a pre-arranged bankruptcy — negotiated with workers, creditors and lenders — could be used to reorganize the sector without liquidation, Bloomberg said.
GM’s failure alone would mean more than $200 billion in interest-bearing debt at the carmaker and its GMAC financing arm could be worthless for countless retirees and taxpayers, further upsetting consumption patterns.
Did anyone bother to update Fritz Henderson, GM’s president and COO on this? Of course, Fritz’s comments DID come in the Wheels section of the Star, rather than in the business section. One must shore up consumer confidence for more GM cars, after all.

Bankruptcy not an option: GM

#16 FP on 12.04.08 at 5:31 am

Record number of companies at risk of default

A fresh sign in the deterioration of credit market conditions emerged on Wednesday when one of the most closely watched barometers of sentiment broke through an important threshold.
The Markit iTraxx Crossover index rose above 1,000 basis points for the first time since it was created in 2004, implying a record number of companies are on the verge of default because of deepening financial problems.
The index, which measures the cost of protecting junk-grade companies against default, has risen sharply in the past month as sentiment has worsened because of gloomy numbers on the global economy and worries over whether companies will be able to refinance their debt.
Meanwhile, the main credit default swaps indicator in the US, the Markit CDX North American Investment Grade index of 125 companies, rose to 271bp. On November 20 it traded at a record of 284bp. Japan’s iTraxx index is trading at record levels of 365bp.
Some of the world’s leading investment-grade companies look in danger of default, according to CDS prices.

#17 FP on 12.04.08 at 5:36 am

Credit Suisse to cut 5,300 staff jobs

Credit Suisse on Thursday said it had lost a net SFr3bn (US$2.5bn) in the two months to the end of November and would axe about 11 per cent of its workforce, principally in investment banking.
The cuts come as investment banks around the world are slashing costs in an effort to adjust to falling markets and the gloomy outlook for 2009. Most banks have already scaled back some of the fixed-income businesses most directly affected by the credit crunch. However, they are now cutting more widely as the slump in stock markets erodes equity-trading revenues, while the shrinking economy hits demand for investment banking services.

#18 Toronto Bear on 12.04.08 at 8:51 am

Does anyone have O’Neal’s email address? I couldn’t find it on the TREB site. It would be fantastic if we could all bombard her with emails telling her how we (and hopefully joe public) are not going to put up with these garbage interpretations any longer.

#19 Frugalistas on 12.04.08 at 9:36 am

I’m not sure how to embed links, but Edmonton has also had job losses from GE Money – 250 jobs. Oil is continuing to go down, and it’s only a matter of time before things are felt in the economy.

Just the other day, I discovered that a student acquaintance of ours purchased a condominum and is financing it on their student loan!!!! Sheesh . What is this world coming to? As if that isn’t excessive leverage.

When there is economic turmoil, political turmoil is surely to follow. Take a look at the rioting, protesting, political upheaval, etc going on in the world (including Canada) now. It’s only going to get worse.

#20 RS on 12.04.08 at 9:48 am

Why is that the only news provided on TV late night about the current real estate market was brought to you by no other than Remax!! Can you say corruption!?! They did however for the first time admit prices will be coming down in toronto next year but by only “2%” Ya in your dreams!!!!! We need regulation in real estate this is misleading and criminal!!!

#21 Keith in Calgary on 12.04.08 at 10:06 am

Remax had their fluff piece reported on as “news” yesterday on Channel 7 Global TV here in Calgary.

The business reporter (Tomasia DeSilva) gleefully spoke each word about house prices stabilizing in 2009 and as if it was gospel, and some sort of silver lining……then they cut to a commercial.

A commercial for Remax by the way, who apparently is the lead sponsor the Channel 7 Global news………LOL !!!!

#22 prairiegopher on 12.04.08 at 10:19 am

In Regina they are saying homes will be selling well in 2009 with a possible increase in price of 9%. What a bunch of liars! There are countless ads with reduced prices and I know people who cannot sell their homes. Garth if you have one mission, can you come up with some sort of legislation to govern these snake oil salesmen. I know the criminal code exists, but these slippery, lying, underhanded pieces of s&@t seem to get away.

#23 Drummer on 12.04.08 at 10:36 am

I love the headline “Over 3,600 sales in November”. It’s so pathetically optimistic.

I’m lovin’ watching the prices go down, down, down.

I think I might buy next spring. But I guess we’ll see how it goes.

#24 Chris L on 12.04.08 at 11:45 am

It must really kill these new agents to realize that people don’t have to buy and sell endlessly. I mean, what’s wrong with the place you currently live in? If there is no greater fool, their commission will vanish and the world will be no worse off. People will just have to stop trading digs. With no price gains (for doing no work), that 5% commission looks more and more difficult to swallow. Back to grass roots investing like it was in 2001! Pay down your mortgage on your rentals and in 25 years you’ll own an asset free and clear and profitable. Your mortgage equity will be the difference between what you paid and what you owe. Hopefully you’ll have an asset that rises in association with inflation.

#25 Marlene on 12.04.08 at 11:45 am


Will you be doing any speaking engagements in Toronto as the one in Vancouver?

Would love for that to happen!

Yes – stay tuned! — Garth

#26 squidly77 on 12.04.08 at 11:52 am

i do not have the words

#27 stay real on 12.04.08 at 11:57 am

Big Smoke? This is the nickname for London, England – you guys find your own, original nickname!

#28 Rasputin on 12.04.08 at 12:02 pm

On that topic Garth, any speaking events planned for Calgary? As a side note my friend tells me that Calgary is Cree for “city that doesn’t get it”.

#29 Soylent Green is People on 12.04.08 at 12:32 pm

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Must go price rat and cockroach poison STAT.

#30 Mike B formerly just Mike on 12.04.08 at 12:34 pm

If the real estate geniuses really want the market to pickup they should institute a “Flat Rate” system of commission . You might see buyers a little more interested in plunking down their hard earned dough.
Prices in Toronto are still ridiculous .. Just do some historical sales in any good area and you will see massive jumps in prices for the past 4-5 years. Ranch style bungalows fetching 400-500 K less than 6 years ago now asking for 795-850 , mostly in original condition.
Needs a whole overhaul this real estate system. Much higher professionalism and complete transparency. Hell, there are a number of older agents who have the offers faxed to their home offices. How rinky dinky is that. How would anyone know if he got one or ten offers or if any are legit or from brothers or cousins just to pad the number of offers. Complete overhaul … top to bottom. Commission base and all.

#31 Bulls eye on 12.04.08 at 12:38 pm

Rasputin #28

RE: Calgary Cree – “city that doesn’t get it”

That’s what’s going to make it interesting in the Spring… Everyone little “experiment” will be to list in the spring. With double the listings, and job losses we can see the prices fall even faster. These last years were for Pride – the next will be full of Envy… Those who have friends and familly who are … well, you get the picture.

Note: I would enjoy a Calgary event with Garth, It would be great to meet some of the Bloggers.

#32 Kestral on 12.04.08 at 12:46 pm

Garth, please do let us know when you have speaking engagements (especially for me here in Toronto), would love to hear it straight from the man himself.

#33 whats up joshua ? on 12.04.08 at 1:16 pm

#3, joshua;
i believe this website does not influence anybody in their EFFORTS to purchase a home. everyone and anybody is free to decide when they want to spend their money. this site makes for great reading and in some instances, confusing, as best demonstrated by “With apologies to those that are hurt by this news, as a potential new home buyer I have to admit some amount of glee (possibly bordering on Schadenfreude)”; i do not understand what you are trying to say. i am sincerely happy for you that you are deciding to purchase a home. i just do not understand what your posting is saying… i don’t think anyone who posts to this site would wish anyone any malice for any of their actions. by what the economy shows and what the market is demonstrating, next year should be a good time to buy… which brings the question… what could this website possibly say that would negatively affect anything next year ?

enlighten us please …

#34 on 12.04.08 at 1:26 pm

Updated the graphs

The TREB goto for bad news was to compare every stat against 2006 (a year that was worse than 2007, 2005 and 2004). But they are running out of ways to spin 2008 with the recent numbers.

#35 Bottoms_Up on 12.04.08 at 2:16 pm

“Garth if you have one mission, can you come up with some sort of legislation to govern these snake oil salesmen.”
here here!!

“Big Smoke? This is the nickname for London, England – you guys find your own, original nickname!”
How ’bout ‘TEE DOT’?

“Note: I would enjoy a Calgary event with Garth, It would be great to meet some of the Bloggers.”
How ’bout designing a hat for bloggers, using the following slogan: ‘GF by GT’, then we could easily find each other…

#36 R in victoria on 12.04.08 at 2:36 pm

If you guys want a real laugh look at whats happening in Victoria. The spin here is that all you people from the east are retiring here. As a result of this our market is insulated from all the evil that is happening elsewhere . We have a very stable market. We should see a 2% drop in the first quater before prices rebound by the end of 09.What they don’t share with you is that most every condo leaks . This in turn results in a huge repair cost that the strara funds don’t cover add 20 to 50 k.As for the house you want to buy you might want to check for mold .Most places have some form or another and your retirement will be a short one breathing it. Now add the highest gas prices in the country, shipping costs on everything you buy,( this is an island), ferry costs on and off the island, and your retirement should be a happy one. Thanks guys please keep buying……..Ha !

#37 nonplused on 12.04.08 at 3:52 pm

26 squidly77

That was simply stunning. Like I always say, stupid doesn’t know its stupid.

#38 nonplused on 12.04.08 at 3:53 pm

28 Rasputin

how could Cree have a word for a city? Think about it for a minute…..

#39 Bottoms_Up on 12.04.08 at 3:57 pm

“i do not have the words
I’d love to see what that place is going for today…perhaps 1/2 of what she is told?

#40 Peter @ Canadian Banks on 12.04.08 at 4:00 pm

come to terms with reality.

#41 Kestral on 12.04.08 at 5:30 pm

T-Dot? More like T-Doh!

#42 Rasputin on 12.04.08 at 6:05 pm

Nonplussed – He made that up. He is Cree and he makes jokes like that all the time. I guess you had to be there…

#43 Rasputin on 12.04.08 at 6:08 pm

Nonplussed – You should hear his explanation of Winnipeg. Not fit for a family blog but hilarious.

#44 Patrice on 12.04.08 at 6:14 pm

“i do not have the words”
I’d love to see what that place is going for today…perhaps 1/2 of what she is told?

i was thinking the same thing.
hilarious, they were just throwing random numbers around.
your house worth 1.2 millions; after you fix the pool, 1.6 millions!

#45 Ess on 12.04.08 at 10:22 pm

Well it was only a matter of time before Maureen came up with this little nugget. Straight from the National Post:

It’s important for the public to understand that while sales activity has moderated in 2008, due to current economic conditions, the average price of homes has increased from 2006 still making real estate a solid long term investment,” Maureen O’Neill, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, said in a statement.

So no matter how far prices drop, she can practically always use that and just roll back 2006. i.e. “Given that prices right now are higher than in 1960 should show people that real estate is a solid long term investment”

It’s amazing that absolute retards like this can become the president of the real estate board. Actually, come to think of it…it doesn’t surprise me given that any moron without a highschool diploma can become a realtor. Yep, it makes sense now.