Sorry, Cowtown


From today’s Calgary Herald: I was asked for a few comments on the local market, and they were not pretty. The sellers in the picture above need to understand one thing: If your house isn’t moving, you have the wrong price. — Garth

By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald

Fiona Warren admits she and her husband, Andy, picked a bad time to sell their house, in the slumping Calgary real estate market. In the past six years, the couple has sold a few single-family homes in a matter of 24 to 48 hours on average.

This time, their 1,900-plus square foot, two-storey home in Regal Terrace has been listed for sale for almost three months and there have been only two viewings to potential buyers. The house was originally listed for $729,000. Now it’s $699,000.

“We did anticipate it was going to be slower, but perhaps maybe not as slow as this,” said Fiona Warren, adding the couple would like to stay in the same area in either a renovated older bungalow or build a new home. “We had also hoped to slide in. I think we missed it by two or three months.”

On Tuesday, the slide was evident as the Calgary Real Estate Board officially released its MLS year-end data for 2008. Total sales are the lowest they have been since 1996. Single-family home sales (13,455) were down 27 per cent from a year ago while the average sale price fell 2.5 per cent to $460,327 and the median price dropped by 2.9 per cent to $409,000.

The condominium market fared worse. Sales plunged by 31.3 per cent to 5,661 compared with 2007 while the average sale price dropped by 4.4 per cent to $302,408 and the median price, at $279,500, was off by 5.3 per cent from 2007.

December was a brutal month for weather in Calgary, but the chill was particularly felt in the residential real estate market.

Sales of single-family homes plunged by 46.9 per cent to 449 compared with December 2007, while condo sales fell by 47.8 per cent to 205.

Also, average and median sale prices continued to drop from year-ago levels. For single-family homes, the December 2008 sale price (at $417,398) was off by 6.2 per cent and the median price of $380,000 was down by 6.6 per cent from a year ago.

Condos had a harder hit as average sale price was down 9.8 per cent to $274,919 and the median price of $254,000 was off by 11.2 per cent compared with December 2007. The market has dramatically shifted from what it was just a year and a half ago. Average sale prices for both condos and single-family homes have fallen by more than 17 per cent from their peak in 2007.

Average sale prices for singlefamily homes peaked at $505,920 in July 2007 and for condos at $332,237 in May 2007. It is also taking longer for people selling their homes. For 2008, it took an average 47 days on the market to sell a singlefamily home in Calgary, up from 33 days in 2007.

For condos, it was 50 days in 2008 compared with 32 days last year. But those numbers continue to climb. In December, it took 61 days on average for a sale in both the condo and single-family home markets. For sellers such as the Warrens, they may be faced with some tough decisions in the near future.

When asked what it’s going to take to sell in this market, she replied: “Some pretty hardcore marketing and maybe some more creative sales approaches.

“The second would be obviously to drop the price, but it gets to a certain point where if you drop the price too much then there’s no point in selling. Real estate in Calgary went beyond the point of affordability and when the average price of a singlefamily home exceeded$ 500,000 in July 2007, it was beyond the ability of the average family to afford it, said real estate author Garth Turner, adding there naturally should have been a correction.

But that correction was delayed for two reasons: the high price for oil and the existence of zero-down, 40-year mortgages. “You had the greatest commodity bubble in oil ever happen in 2008. That gave the illusion of wealth and the illusion of future wealth in Alberta,” he said.

The zero-down, 40-year mort-gages were in full effect until Oct. 15 and many people were able to buy “because of these Canadian subprimes, which is essentially what they were.”

Turner said the Calgary market went beyond the point of sustainability and the correction was only inevitable when people were not able to afford homes on their incomes, oil prices collapsed and cheap mortgages were taken off the table.

“To talk about a rebound in the middle of 2009 is a complete myth. We are in the middle of a North American meltdown, which is not going to be rescued in 2009,” said Turner.

“Many people took their houses off the market waiting for the spring. One of the big surprises of 2009 will be that there is no spring market. It will be dismal.”

He predicted listings are going to explode in Calgary beginning in March, with the greatest number of listings in April and May. He expects local prices will drop a significant 15 per cent but won’t hit bottom until 2010.

In early December, Re/Max released its housing market outlook, which forecast MLS sales in 2009 in Calgary to increase by two per cent from 2008 while there would be no change in the average sale price. An outlook by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. forecast MLS sales in the Calgary census metropolitan area to increase by 2.8 per cent in 2009 while the aver-age sale price would increase by less than one per cent to$406,000, which includes both single-family homes and condos.

“The marketplace was oversupplied,” said Lai Sing Louie, senior market analyst in Calgary for the CMHC.

The residential real estate market will likely be slow in the first part of this year as consumers are hesitant to make big-ticket purchases, said Todd Hirsch, senior economist with ATB Financial in Calgary, adding the market should pick up in the latter half of the year. “At a certain point there will be so much pent-up demand that people will pull the trigger.”


#1 Bottoms_Up on 01.09.09 at 12:44 pm

Well, yesterday I bought Garth’s book ‘After the Crash’, and today I got hired by the federal government. Sweet deal. Needless to say I will have less time to read and partake in this informative blog, but will still use it as an educational resource on real estate and the economy. Garth speed, Garth speed my fellow bloggers…

#2 Keith in Calgary on 01.09.09 at 12:46 pm

ROFL………pent up demand from whom ? Todd Hirsch kills me….he’s as much of a fraud and a shill as “Liar” Sing Louie from CMHC……or Soapy Smith from Skagway, Alaska.

16,000 high paying construction jobs are now gone from Alberta, if there was pent up demand don’t you think they’d still be building houses here ? And there have been announcements as recent as yesterday of companies which are now laying off white collar employees here in Calgary.

Canada lost 44,300 full time jobs in December according to Statscan. Of those 44,300 job losses…….20,000 were lost right here in Alberta……..

45% of all of the job losses across the country occured right here in Alberta last month. It’s worth repeating for effect.

And it is not over by a long shot……lots of those people will go back east to live in their parents basement…….foreclosures will go up and rental vacancies will also continue to increase, leading to a further slide in property values as sales collapse entirely.

#3 Cara on 01.09.09 at 12:58 pm

I’m sorry, did that say “699,000”?? We built a home in Calgary in 2003, just under 1900 sq feet, also a 2 story. Since I’ve never heard of “Regal Terrace” I’ll assume it is simply another brand new subdivision in what was formerly a farmer’s (who is now laughing, all the way to the bank) field in the middle of the bald-ass prairie. Ours was in a similar subdivision. The total cost of that home when we bought was $223,000. That was 6 years ago. That means that houses in Calgary have gone up just under $100,000 a YEAR. Absolutely ridiculous. We sold that house to move away from Calgary (work related, to a smaller AB town) for $265,000 in 2005. People in Calgary need to get their expectations back down to reality… and it wasn’t all that long ago.

Jeepers. This is nuts. If they were smart, they’d price it at least $50,000 below comparables. They’ve sold a few houses in the last few years the article says, I’m sure they aren’t hurting for cash. Get out now people, while you can.

#4 questioning on 01.09.09 at 1:13 pm

obviously, Calgarians believe the RE price will go up and won’t drop down for sure…

There is a way as long as there is a will…

#5 Winnipeg is no Different on 01.09.09 at 1:34 pm

Too bad the Winnipeg Free Press doesn’t ask you for a few comments on the Winnipeg market. We are being fed a steady diet of real estate ads disguised as news stories. A counterpoint would be nice.

#6 VicREBear on 01.09.09 at 1:35 pm

Hmm. Looks like “Andy” and “Fiona” have been flipping houses for a living, and have become overly accustomed to fast, easy money. Time to recalibrate your paradigm, kids.

#7 JB-ott on 01.09.09 at 1:38 pm

They’ve already sold three houses in the past six years, and they’re still not happy where they are?

Think of the selling costs they’ve incurred…

#8 smwhite on 01.09.09 at 1:45 pm

CMHC just won’t fess up to the public and claim any kind of downturn in housing, despite the obvious.

Garth, as more and more of the herd find out the “truth”, we’re going to get more and more new “fans” showing up, telling you what a jerk you are telling the truth and letting the cat out of the bag.

The above couple are a perfect example of flippers in “denial”, refusing to lower their price because they can’t except the fact they bought a turd at the wrong time… I think we all know what happens when you try to fight the “market”.

Good luck on your “Cross Canada Tour of Doom”. But really, people that can separate emotion from fact will prosper in the coming years and be thankful for persons like yourself speaking out.

#9 beefeater on 01.09.09 at 1:50 pm

To #3

Regal Terrace is in the innercity neighbourhood near the Zoo. Probably was bald ass praire about a hundred years ago.

Otherwise, still overpriced.

#10 Alberta Ed on 01.09.09 at 2:16 pm

Mario and the CREB are whistling past the graveyard. It will be interesting to see if they can carry the same tune in three months, as layoffs soar across Alberta and the shrinking economy starts to bite.

#11 The Tallyman on 01.09.09 at 2:17 pm

Poor Fiona & Andy… The new Poster Couple for greed and stupidity.
Not looking very Regal on that Terrace anymore.

Good luck trying to sell that 180k house for 700k.

#12 Larry on 01.09.09 at 2:21 pm

Seems like someone got caught holding the hot potatoe. It’s only the start for Calgary house prices will drop big time here.

#13 Roger in Victoria on 01.09.09 at 2:22 pm

Keith in Calgary wrote:

“pent up demand from whom ? ”

There is a lot of pent up demand across Canada! By sellers demanding that their agents bring an offer now.

#14 smwhite on 01.09.09 at 2:27 pm

#6 VicREBear

Time to recalibrate your paradigm, kids.

Zing! Love it!

#15 Wealthy renter 2 on 01.09.09 at 2:31 pm

“At a certain point there will be so much pent-up demand that people will pull the trigger.”
The only pent up demand there will be is sellers trying to sell their homes, and the only trigger that will be pulled is on Todd Hirsh’s sorry ass job.

#7 – actually it’s more like they bought and sold 5 houses in the last 5 years, and yes they have day jobs too. Flipping used to a very profitable thing ……in the last decade.

Keith in calgary…holy SH%%, I can’t believe Alberta lost that many jobs!

#16 The Tallyman on 01.09.09 at 2:31 pm

For Pennies a day… You could help this poor couple
For Pennies a day… They might not have to return one of the leased SUV’s.
For Pennies a day… they could still take that vacation.

See it’s all up to you,
And though you may not know this couple now your support will change all that.

For Pennies a Day… you could buy that house… won’t you buy that house….. p-l-e-e-ea-s-e!

#17 Crikey on 01.09.09 at 2:47 pm

New “Cajun Squirrel” flavoured chips:

No, this is not a joke.

Stock up, everybody!

#18 malbadon on 01.09.09 at 2:47 pm

Cara, Regal is a hoity-toity area, the hill overlooking downtown north of the Bow along Edmonton Trail. Not anywhere the average person has a house.
I’ve watched 3 houses on my street (in a normal average section of Calgary, not hoity-toityville) priced below the “average” median Calgary is “apparently” at sit for sale now for 3+ months, nothings moving, simple as that, and yet no one is lowering prices. There they sit, empty.

#19 Bobby in Victoria on 01.09.09 at 2:52 pm

You’re kidding. $699,000 for a 1900 sq ft home in Calgary. Probably on a 40 ft wide lot. They’re dreaming.

A house is worth only what someone is willing to pay and it certainly isn’t that price. And no it is not worth what some clerk, come realtor thinks it will sell for to get your listing.

My guess, it will be worth $450,000, but only on a really good day this summer.

It’s gonna get really ugly out there!!

#20 dd on 01.09.09 at 2:54 pm


Living in calgary and the reported numbers above do not add up. Prices are off an easy 15% for a median price house.

And Toddl, “the market should pick up in the latter half of the year”, Hirsch must be getting paid from the real estate association to scoup of the hopefull news.

#21 Diabolo on 01.09.09 at 2:57 pm

700,000 for 1900 sq ft 2 storey house…

I am planning to buy a similar house in 2011… I am sure I will get it…errr maybe the same one .. for less than 300,000.

Garth, do you have an address ??

#22 double mike on 01.09.09 at 3:15 pm

TREB finally published December report. What a piece of work. I’m just wondering when will they start comparing their numbers to 1998. It’s not even funny any more.

#23 squidly77 on 01.09.09 at 3:21 pm

regal terace/renfrew is in ne calgary close to downtown

i have been saying for awhile now on the albertabubble that we will reach a point where prices wont matter and
in calgary we are almost there

they could reduce that price by $200,000 and it still may not sell..the problem now is that the banks are baby sitting potential buyers and not qualifying them for mortgages on grossly over priced properties
hell..who can blame them ?

a house in regal terrace might be worth $200,000 at best
yeah go ahead and laugh if you want but consider that thats what it was worth 8 years ago
contrary to the deluded notion that house always go up
the opposite is actually true for 90% of city neighbourhoods just keeping up with inflation can be a challenge

its never matters what a sellers wants and needs are
its all about the buyers wants and needs

carrying a mortgage in alberta has always been a precarious task never mind one that comes attached with monthly mortgage cost ($650,000 @ 7%) of approx. $4,750 just to pay the PI you still have to pay the taxes of $200/mo and utilities $250/mo maintenance and insurance costs totaling about $5,500/mo

sorry but there are not many calgarians that can afford to pay that to live in regal terrace
so heres the good news for them..they get to keep their house and live in it..thats what they wanted right ?

#24 Grantmi on 01.09.09 at 3:22 pm

“#7 JB-ott on 01.09.09 at 1:38 pm They’ve already sold three houses in the past six years, and they’re still not happy where they are?

Think of the selling costs they’ve incurred…”

Also.. the possible tax implications of HOME FLIPPING! Did they claim the appreciation in each of these homes as INCOME???

CRA would not consider what they are doing as principal residence if they have moved and re-bought that many homes.. for no apparent reason. Sound’s like they just put their names on CRA’s hit list!!

#25 real estate expert on 01.09.09 at 3:23 pm

“”their 1,900-plus square foot, two-storey home in Regal Terrace. The house was originally listed for $729,000. Now it’s $699,000″”

…WTF???…That is $367.00 per sq ft!!!

My single family home in North Van never got higher than $330.00 per sq ft in value!!!…and its worth @$300.00 today.

…Now Calgary is what I call a bubble market.


#26 eddy on 01.09.09 at 3:31 pm

Maybe they should sue HGTV for dispensing bad advice, if that’s where they learned their profession.

#27 Greyhound on 01.09.09 at 3:50 pm

Garth – Are you coming to Calgary as part of your tour?

#28 eddy on 01.09.09 at 3:59 pm

notice in the photo that there are no moldings around the windows and front door. Styrofoam moldings and architectural details are not all that expensive. i call this a transcendentally cheap stucco job

#29 MarkhamMan on 01.09.09 at 4:12 pm

“couple would like to stay in the same area in either a renovated older bungalow or build a new home.”

These people want to move for all the wrong reasons. If you want to stay in the same area, why move? If you want to build your dream home? Get real. A house that is not selling during tough times and at the wrong time of year is not exactly earth-shattering news.

Come on!

#30 squidly77 on 01.09.09 at 4:20 pm

heres the listing for the above house
oh my..its a damned duplex and nothing more than a spec home complete with nasty ss appliances

before the bubble you could buy a beautiful sfh in a great calgary neighbourhood for $225,000
pre-bubble prices will be making there reappearance soon

i hope that the specuvestors like the neighbourhood
as they are going to be living there for a long time

#31 Dawn in Calgary on 01.09.09 at 4:21 pm

These ppl are on crack. And they can probably buy it easily in that neighborhood. ;-)

The place is a duplex. A friggin DUPLEX!!!
MLS # is C3353797

#32 happy and homeless on 01.09.09 at 4:29 pm

hey bottoms up, how did u get hired on by the federal government? are you a visible minority? lol, c’mon censor me we all know it’s true :).

#33 dd on 01.09.09 at 4:43 pm

Today in the G&M ….

Jobless rate expected to stop short of 10% …

We can only hope.

#34 neutral on 01.09.09 at 4:50 pm

They are reators, making a second income by flipping RE by theirselves. Compare their photoes:
I don’t feel sorry for them…

#35 $fromA$ia on 01.09.09 at 4:54 pm

Garth, your thread calls them buyers, you mean they are sellers right?

#36 Anton on 01.09.09 at 4:55 pm

Great blog, its a fresh change than the tripe our local media real estate boards are feeding the public.

On a side note, what is your prediction on the reductions past of mortgage terms going from 40year to 35 year? Do you see them going all the way back to 25 year eventually?
Also I have not been able to find the actual legislation that allowed for these extended mortgages, when did this happen in 2006?

#37 $fromA$ia on 01.09.09 at 4:55 pm

CHMC won’t fess up, how about our finance minister?

I don’t think he’s back on earth yet.

#38 Anton on 01.09.09 at 4:56 pm

Great blog, its a fresh change than the tripe our local media real estate boards are feeding the public.

On a side note, what is your prediction on the reductions past of mortgage terms going from 40year to 35 year? Do you see them going all the way back to 25 year eventually?
Also I have not been able to find the actual legislation that allowed for these extended mortgages, when did this happen in 2006?

#39 The First Rick on 01.09.09 at 5:10 pm

#6 VicREBear on 01.09.09 at 1:35 pm Hmm. Looks like “Andy” and “Fiona” have been flipping houses for a living, and have become overly accustomed to fast, easy money. Time to recalibrate your paradigm, kids.
I hope she “looses her shirt!” (Only because she is hot!! LOL)

#40 Boffo on 01.09.09 at 5:12 pm

Seems someone did something of a Case Schiller on the major Canadian cities.

Surprised Toronto was so low, but Edmonton and Regina are sure in for a painful landing

#41 David on 01.09.09 at 5:13 pm

Fiona is missing her tin foil hat for that Kodak moment in front of that unsold McMansion. Serial home flippers like this couple are not good candidates for unwitting victim status. That McMansion in the background might someday be energy sustainable if cold fusion is developed. Hang in there Fiona!!
Sounds like Mr. Louie and Mr. Hirsch have been reading the works of Jean Baptiste Say who formulated the axiom that supply creates demand. Lucky Calgary homeowners.

#42 jess tree on 01.09.09 at 5:28 pm

fictitious capital…marxbell’s are ringing in my ears.

Hundreds and maybe thousands of investors in Madoff’s funds have been withdrawing money from their accounts for many years. In many cases, those investors have withdrawn far more than their principal investment.

“I had a call yesterday from a guy who said, ‘I’ve taken out more money then I originally put in, but I still had $1 million left with Madoff. Should I file a $1 million claim?'” said Steven Caruso, a New York attorney specializing in securities and investment fraud.

#43 malbadon on 01.09.09 at 5:34 pm

wait, geez I thought it was overpriced hoity-toity crap when it was a house, now we find out it isn’t even a sfh?!

Not sure what your saying tho neutral about that realtor website. They aren’t the same two people in the Herald photo, not in name or looks.

#44 dd on 01.09.09 at 5:38 pm

#41 David,

Funny, people don’t know how bad it is until the try and flog the house.

#45 dd on 01.09.09 at 5:43 pm

#40 Boffo,

Edmonton seemed to be about 6 months behind Caglary in 2006/7. At the high Edmonton was approx 90% Calgary prices.

Lots of pain there.

#46 Diabolo on 01.09.09 at 5:45 pm

Anyone live near this paradise worth 699,000 ?
Go for a visit and offer $ 250,000…
Reality will bite …

#47 dd on 01.09.09 at 5:46 pm

#39 The First Rick

What do you mean? “Andy” and “Fiona” can’t make 20% a year on there investments anymore?

As Garth says “wrong price.”

#48 dd on 01.09.09 at 5:53 pm

#38 Anton … from the article:

“Ponde attributes … This is a more stable market. Edmonton will continue to lead the country … This is the best time for any buyers to buy. This is the most affordable market that we have had in a long time.”

“Don’t speculate first. People should buy to raise a family and not use it (a residence) as an investment first.”

Who is this Ponde? The best time to buy? Should I pay $300k because in a year to two it could be $200k. Yes a house shouldn’t be used as an investment tool, however, why overpay?

Ponde is a knucklehead

#49 dd on 01.09.09 at 5:56 pm

#34 neutral

… They are reators, making a second income by flipping RE by theirselves…

Oh … sweet justice. They even believed the hype.

Too funny.

#50 dd on 01.09.09 at 5:58 pm

#31 Dawn in Calgary,

They are living in early 2007.

#51 dekethegeek on 01.09.09 at 6:04 pm

Sorry Garth,
I”ve tried to purchase your book through the Xurbia site and even though I’ve picked 1 book from the shopping cart. I cant go anywhere else on the site. I dont think I’m a total Rebatard ( even though Real Estate Expert may beg to differ) when it comes to purchasing online, but your site doesnt allow me too!
Help Buddy!

Go to “Checkout” then confirm your order, add address, then proceed to payment. Pretend it’s Wal-Mart. — Garth

#52 dd on 01.09.09 at 6:08 pm

#3 Cara #19 Bobby in Victoria,

Regal Terrace is not bad hood. It is inner city and prices went through the roof the last couple of years downtown. Even inner city condo prices were high. But things are sure changed.

#15 Wealthy renter. Yes a lot of jobs have dryed up in the last couple of months. The patch and constuction jobs are being hit hard. This is going to be an ugly town if oil stays low.

#53 squidly77 on 01.09.09 at 6:16 pm

realtors everywhere now are making rediculous statements..they should be shamed

who in the hell is this ponde fool saying its the best time to buy—————– condo—–CONned-DOpe

#54 midas on 01.09.09 at 6:24 pm


So how on Earth will there be a recovery in the next 18 months? Things never got this bad even in the 70’s. The numbers are approaching 30’s figures and were it not for unemployment / welfare it would have been painfully obvious that we are already in the midst of a greater depression than the great depression. I don’t see how this housing carnage will be halted at a mere 35-40 percent decline. Me thinks we may see 70% or more. That 6 in front of the asking price of that duplex may get axed in the next few years to reveal the true value of that dump. Whatever you will get for RE today will be four times as much as it will be in 4 years. Sorry Garth! This thing ain’t turning around in 2010!

#55 john on 01.09.09 at 6:34 pm

For all sellers there has to be buyers–smart buyers aren’t looking right now! Thats a fact-positive factors in the economy create demand>>> There are no positive indicators in any aspect of the economy right now–The best bet in my opinion is to buy “after the crash” foresight brings security!

#56 real estate expert on 01.09.09 at 6:43 pm

Case-Shiller Index proves the Real Estate Expert right once again folks….

“”…was a bit surprised to see Vancouver was toward the middle of the pack, and Toronto actually had the most gradual growth of any. With all the verbiage flying around about those two markets, I would have expected them higher up. That’s not to say there wasn’t a big run up in Vancouver, just it was not as extreme as places like Edmonton, Regina, or even Calgary.””

…Did I ever mention Vancouver will become the Financial/Trading/Leisure capital for North America?

#57 Jelly on 01.09.09 at 7:10 pm






#58 rjag2034 on 01.09.09 at 7:23 pm

Mary Mother of…its a duplex! For that price you can buy a decent 4 br house on a good sized lot in Victoria!!!

My assessed value is $650k for 4 br 3 ba 3,000 sq ft house on a 10,000 ft lot on a North Oak Bay culdesac!!!!

I think in this situation we’ve met the greater fool.

Dont feel sorry for them at all.

btw ordered the book and got tickets to see you in Victoria in a few weeks.

Keep up the good work.

#59 dekethegeek on 01.09.09 at 7:32 pm

Sorry again, Garth.
The Xurbia page I’m looking at has

“Product” “Qty” “Price” “Total” “Remove”
at the top of the page.
Then ” Update” “Subtotal” Navigation

No sign of anything that says “checkout”
or “buy” or “payment” etc.,etc.etc.
Dont worry about it. I will buy a copy from Chapters,
Just wanted an autographed copy for my Grandkids!
Have a good weekend

Just click on the big red arrow that says “Go to Checkout”. Click it an you are in the payment area. Hey, you’ll have to find your way out of Chapters, too! — Garth

#60 Bobby in Victoria on 01.09.09 at 7:56 pm

Now they tell us it’s a duplex. C’mon. My guess $225,000 if you catch someone in a benevolent moment.

They are the poster people for how ugly it is going to get out there!

#61 lightning_kash3 on 01.09.09 at 8:04 pm

Hi Garth,

You predict Calgary’s RE bottoms in 2010. Will it be around summer/fall time?


#62 The_Dude on 01.09.09 at 8:05 pm

Wow, Garth! I never thought I’d think of you as an optimist on RE prices, but a 2010 bottom? Try 2014 or so, and real prices will not return to bubble highs in our lifetimes (I’m 41).

#63 Jonathan on 01.09.09 at 8:24 pm

“pent-up demand”

more like “pent-up supply to hit the market”

My aunt is selling out there. 9 months later, price reductions, no sale.

#64 dd on 01.09.09 at 8:29 pm

#60 Bobby in Victoria,

No not $225k. It is a nice area (even with Squid doesn’t think so). Actually at $450 it would be a good buy.

#65 dd on 01.09.09 at 8:31 pm

#56 real estate expert,

The is right. Vancouver didn’t run up as much. However it does have the worst affordability factor in the country. Foregot to mention that one “Expert.”

#66 Keith in Calgary on 01.09.09 at 8:35 pm

I drove past their $699K cardboard box today at 400PM……the street I take on my route to pick up my wife from her work is only one block away, so I detoured and checked it out.

It is about 100 feet from an old run down school…….a half a block from a boring park, and an older convenience/video store situated on a very busy main street. The balance of the houses around it are mainly 50’s to 70’s era construction, unrenovated, and typical of what you will find in this older deteriorating neighbourhood. I used to live in an apartment complex 2 blocks away from it about 15 years ago. All you get is traffic going thru your neighbourhood to avoid the 16th Avenue/Edmonton Trail intersection.

My impression is that it is waaay too much house for the area….and waaay too much money for the house. I bet you it leaks and get’s drafyt in one or two more years. Typical crappy cardboard and glue boom time construction quality was my perception.

#67 Jsann on 01.09.09 at 8:36 pm

House Flippers, Realtors and all of the other Real Estate “investors” deserve what they get. How many families have paid 2 or 3x more for their house than they ever should have because of a housing climate where Real Estate “investors” helped drive the prices to unrealistic levels?

There used to be a time not that long ago when a family could buy a fixer upper with their meager savings and than slowly over the years do their own improvements. Nowadays, the Realtors snap up any bargains before the public even sees them, slaps a coat of paint on and charges 50% more. So while the Real Estate ‘investors” are living the high life, the poor family they profited off are stuck with the lifetime of heavy payments.

I have no pity for anyone who loses their profit on what should be considered by this society a necessity and not an investment.

#68 squidly77 on 01.09.09 at 8:37 pm

this one is in crescent heights a little west of regal terrace
check out the massive back yard..

these bubble headed people are everywhere in calgary

#69 squidly77 on 01.09.09 at 8:41 pm

you could probably get this one for a million
you really need to click the link to see what calgarians have had to put up with..

#70 dekethegeek on 01.09.09 at 8:42 pm

Sorry buddy but
“” is blocked by my office webmaster
(yes i am reading this whilst i should be working. I’m hooked, I need a twice a day fix.)
So no big red arrow that says “go to checkout”
No problemmo tho, I will leave bread crumbs and retrace my way out of Chapters.

#71 jess tree on 01.09.09 at 8:54 pm

the enron school of business:

so oil demand decreased but supply increased oil goes up therefore price goes up.

#72 ThumbsUp on 01.09.09 at 8:54 pm

CBC Marketplace Jan. 9

Think you’re safe from problems when you buy a new home? Think again

#73 real estate expert on 01.09.09 at 9:07 pm

Garth…why do you let Jelly continue to insult posters?

#74 Rich in Calgary on 01.09.09 at 9:22 pm

Man, a lot of people in this city are in such denial about the falling values of their homes. A guy I work with seems to think that only people who bought more than they could afford will be affected. He very proudly told me that the house he bought 3 years ago is “still worth $500,000.” I told him that in about a year, he probably wouldn’t be able to get $375,000 for it. Judging by his reaction, you would have thought I’d said his kid was ugly…

#75 CTA on 01.09.09 at 9:27 pm

The price tag for this 1,900 sq foot home in Calgary is a joke. Ocean front condos in Fort Lauderdale and Miami 2,000-3,000 sq feet are going for less. And the job market market is much better for working professionals and the climate much more pleasant.

#76 john on 01.09.09 at 9:29 pm

Hi Garth,

In the US Glenn Beck was very vocal about what is happening & what will happen and he has disappeared from the mainline media.

In Canada another active voice about this economic mess and fighting for the common folk was Linda Leatherdale of the Toronto Sun and she was laid off last week on her birthday.

My question is, “Do you think there is PolitiCal influence involved here putting the muzzle on people that speak loudly and truthfully about what is happening?”

It just seems like the people that should be listened to during these times are being silenced instead. Watched an interview with Peter Schiff on Russian TV yesterday (another person who is vocal and predicted alot of this Economic crisis) and he at one point indicated that he has not been approached by anyone from Obama’s team for input instead all the people he debated against and were proven wrong with their forecasts are being contacted for input.

In my opinion the people I have been listening to most during this crisis is:

Canada (Nationally) – Garth Turner
Canada (Regionally-Toronto) – Linda Leatherdale
US (Financial expertise) – Peter Schiff
US (Economic Reality TV) – Glen Beck

#77 CTA on 01.09.09 at 9:35 pm

The babe and the man are real estate people. Both need a reality maybe reducing their pre-fab, made of junk material house by $350,000 or more. And still at that reduction, price to income ratio continues to be unaffordable

The above post was edited. — Garth

#78 Wealthy Renter on 01.09.09 at 9:52 pm

Sorry, Toronto is the centre of the universe LOL, and the numbers for December are up!

#79 Dave in Calgary on 01.09.09 at 9:57 pm

#74 Rich in Calgary:

No, people here like their homes more than their children. It will pass. I think we may work with the same people.

I rent a basement suite not too far from the people in the add above for less than $800/month so I get to see these dillusional flippers everyday on my walk to work or safeway… it’s kinda fun. If I don’t get laid off, this year will be SWEET!

#80 CTA on 01.09.09 at 10:27 pm

john#76 I listen to Alex Jones/ He is good source of information. Information is well researched and backed by sources and he has interesting guests (ex-politicians, retired military, cops, journalists, experts in engineering, finances, sciences, education, health) that provide another perspective on a corrupt system that we all live in and were told is the truth.
David Icke: from UK. Awesome!

#81 Keith in Calgary on 01.09.09 at 10:58 pm

#76 John….

Glen Beck has moved from CNN and will be on FOX News with his own daily TV show in 1-2 weeks.

#82 squidly77 on 01.09.09 at 11:30 pm

Linda Leatherdale getting laid off is a crime
she spoke for the common folks..death and bankruptcy for the sun media chain

#83 Just a Girl on 01.09.09 at 11:34 pm

Been travelling this week and read a few different newspapers. Anyone see (or post) about the article in the Globe & Mail yesterday about squirrels being a trendy delicacy in the UK? Also today’s Edmonton Journal, the new prez of the EREB saying $350K is the “new norm” for SFH in the city (ie. no more price declines).

#84 islander on 01.10.09 at 12:41 am

…..If your house isn’t moving, you have the wrong price. — Garth…..

That’s the only thing anybody ever has to know about real estate, yet it’s the one thing most sellers refuse to accept.

Too bad about Ms. Leatherdale. For years I thought she was the only writer worth reading in the Bright Red Paper chain.

#85 Maneul on 01.10.09 at 2:33 am

Hey Jelly,

Get your facts right before you try to correct other people. “Loses” can also be written as “looses”. I think you should buy a dictionary or upgrade your English skills. LOOSER!

#86 Zebedee on 01.10.09 at 10:53 am

Maneul….(I think this name is usually spelled ‘Manuel’), the word ‘lose’ can ONLY be L O S E in english. It cannot also be written as ‘loose’. It cannot. And spurious American dictionaries will not be of any help. Nothing makes a person look more of a loser than the last word of your last post. Really. Advice…don’t be so aggressive. Try to maintain civility and politeness. And don’t be ashamed that english is your second language, you’re doing pretty well overall.

#87 Bottoms_Up on 01.10.09 at 12:03 pm

RE: Happy and Homeless
“hey bottoms up, how did u get hired on by the federal government? are you a visible minority? lol, c’mon censor me we all know it’s true :).”

Hi Happy and Homeless,
How do you know that I am a white Canadian male (my ancestors came here in the early 1800’s) that does not speak French?
And for your information, I’ve been in university for 11 years, I went to Queen’s U and attained an A average over 4 years, then McMaster for a Ph.D., (also an A average in my graduate course work), and my yearly salary in 2008 was $17,000 before paying tuition. Consider yourself lucky that I’m working to protect you.

#88 d on 01.10.09 at 2:07 pm

Regal Terrace is inner city….not a new subdivision. They will still get over 6 for that house.

#89 Rich in Calgary on 01.10.09 at 3:24 pm

#88 d wrote
“Regal Terrace is inner city….not a new subdivision. They will still get over 6 for that house.”

Try breaking the pills in half. You’re obviously having some kind of adverse reaction.

#90 squidly77 on 01.10.09 at 5:16 pm

anyone that would pay over $600,000 to live in regal terrace probably needs to be medicated

i would say they are in phase 2 at present
and will be approaching phase 5 within 6 months.
chart posted below

then again there are so many bubbleheaded calgarians around that you never no..perhaps they can find an even greater fool

heres an ad for the duplex featured as the blog topic

#91 Rasputin on 01.11.09 at 12:18 am

There are still tons of people here in Cowtown without a clue. I went to get gas at Westhills shopping Centre this aftternoon and what did my weary, vodka stained eyes see? Cars everywhere. That’s right. Calgary thinks there are only 10 shopping days till Christmas. Someone tell these people that Christmas is over. Man it’s gonna get ugly here. Denial…it’s not just a big assed river.

#92 Glenn on 01.11.09 at 1:37 pm

Back in 2005, my wife and I were desperaterly trying to escape the apex of the Bush fascist dictatorship, where anti-war activists such as myself face honest-to-God STASI style persecution and harrassment (Obama may be able to get that under control now). Living in Northern Montana, we took every spare weekend to check in with non-profits, churches, and seemingly “liberal” Calgarians for just a tiny shred of guidance or assistance. Neither of us are criminals, and my disabled veterans pension is about $40K USD (tax free), so we would not be a burden on society, but a conduit of hard currency into the local economy. To a person, every “educated” and “compassionate” “adult” in Calgary we spoke to devolved into a sneering, feral, inferiority-complex riddled four year old right in front of our very eyes. In time we actually learned to enjoy the process of scratching below the veneer of civility and pomp to expose the deranged, infantile dolt lurking below the surface of virtually everyone we met in that town. Over the past years, Ive run into a handful of Canadians in America, most of them working illegally, but the most I could muster was a hope that they didnt get caught, were able to earn what they hoped to, and enjoy their stay. Fast forward to 2009, our (legal) plans to get into Canada are virtually locked in, and I can say with a fair degree of certainty most of the people that snubbed us are doing much, MUCH worse then we are. Silly me, I find myself feeling sorry for their families. Regardless, if I am able to transfer my modestly successful business into Canada, I will most likely import Americans should I need any employees. Once bitten, and all that stuff.

#93 HalifaxFamily on 01.11.09 at 3:36 pm

I just saw something on CBC that disgusted me. Just watch New Home Nightmares.

Digusting how inbred realtors are with the developers. I’m not sure if I can label a contractor ‘honest’ anymore.

Buyer beware… especially on new homes. These guys probably want to get out of their houses but can’t.


#94 HalifaxFamily on 01.11.09 at 3:38 pm

Several months ago, one of my colleagues in the West was bragging about helping their son put a downpayment on a house. She asked my opinion of it, and I told them to ‘wait’ and ‘hold the horses’.

Hope she listened. The market in Alberta is crashing fast and nobody is immune, especially those who were flipping or who bought overpriced homes in the suburbs.

#95 Glenn on 01.11.09 at 4:13 pm

Jumpin horsefeathers that “New Home Nightmare” spot was horrifying. I like the CBC Marketplace show, it gets down into subjects that effect the average Joe.
Now, about those builders, contractors, and RE agents. Someone needs to do a separate expose because, as everyone knows, those unscrupulous people must be Americans. Because again as everyone knows, only Americans are capable of such greed and callous disregard for their fellow man. No Canadian would stoop to such a level. Nope. Never. Ever.

#96 beer coffee on 01.11.09 at 5:07 pm

Yo Glenn no. 92 – One should be careful not to generalise too much – after all – on a per capita basis your immigrating to Canada from a country that has quite a margin of freaks the rest of the G7 . Get over yourself.

#97 Werner Patels on 01.11.09 at 7:02 pm

There are a lot of people in dire straits in Calgary. I’ll give you an example.

In my neighbourhood there is a town home development — about 50 units or so, I’d say. They were built by one of the builders know for using the cheapest material and for lousy workmanship. When they were new, they sold for about $160,000. Then, at the height of the boom, people figured they could make an easy profit, and those things started selling for $330,000 and up.

Turnover was quick. Within the first two years, I’d say, maybe only 10 or so original owners were still left. The other 40 or so all bought at the much steeper price.

Now, many of them have been trying to sell again, with For Sale signs everywhere around that property — and Open House signs on weekends for which no one ever shows up.

There’s no way those “resale owners” will ever get their money back. Those town homes are worth about $160,000, but not certainly not $330,000 (did I mention that those town homes don’t even have garages?).

Eventually, the market price for these town homes will return to around the original price, but that means that the vast majority of people who own a unit now, will lose around $150,000-$200,000 (some actually bought units at close to $400,000 back in 2007).

Most of the residents there I’d consider “trailer park trash” (the cops are also always there), so you can imagine that many of them bought at the exaggerated price thanks to a 40-year mortgage and $0 down. I expect to see Power of Sale signs go up where the For Sale signs used to be any day now.

From what I have experienced around here, I’d say that anyone who bought a house before the end of 2005 will be fine, more or less. After that, the real estate market went nuts and through the roof, which means that everyone who bought property in Calgary after, say, October/November 2005, will soon sit on a house or condo whose value is a lot less than the mortgage on it.