‘We are in one.’

jobless1

Late Friday afternoon the big white Book Truck pulled up and a nice guy tromped through the drifts and handed me 16 cases. By quitting time at the post office, I’d arrived with a couple of hundred shiny new copies of ‘After the Crash’ signed, packaged, addressed. I handed them off to the clerks.

“What’s this one about?” I was asked. “The financial mess,” I said, “and how to survive it.”

“This is no mess,” one postie said, “this is a frigging disaster. But it hardly matters – I’ve got no money.”

So I went back to my office, where the other hundreds of copies were being readied for shipping Monday, and decided to help out my publisher by sending a few media releases (books take lots of promotion). An hour later I was staring at some bouncebacks – emails indicating key journalists I had known for years had just lost their jobs.

This, of course, happened on a day we learned 71,000 more Canadians become unemployed last month, as 524,000 Americans joined them. Last year 2.6 million people in the US saw their jobs evaporate, and the annual rate is now 6 million. This hasn’t happened since World War Two ended the Great Depression. In Canada we’ve shed almost 150,000  jobs in two months. It’s a disaster.

In fact, I checked out the day’s analysis by Mike Shedlock, of globaleconomicanalysis.com. “The official unemployment rate (US) is 7.2%. However if you start counting all the people that want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, all the people who dropped off the unemployment rolls because their unemployment benefits ran out,” he writes, “you get a closer picture of what the unemployment rate is. That number is 13.5%.

Shedlock continues: “There is no official definition of depression. Here is mine: When the unemployment rate rises above 12.5% in conjunction with a stock market that is down close to 50%, the CPI (inflation) is negative, and nominal wages are stagnant, it’s an economic depression. We are in one.”

As I may have mentioned, the key thesis of my book is that the odds of a depression are greater at this moment than at any time since the 1930s. That does not mean it will happen, or that I agree entirely with Shedlock – certainly not (yet) in Canada. But it does mean a depression is possible, and that potential leapt closer on this day of joblessness and January anxiety.

We all hope for a quick recovery, but we must also be ready for a deflationary spiral. At least, I am. I’ve made it my goal in the last year to go through a checklist of personal actions (which are in the book) that will help me and my family weather a protracted storm. On that list were big things – such as selling inappropriate real estate and trashing my non-deductible debt. Also included were lots of smaller things – ensuring a cash reserve, crafting a defensive mix of investment assets and having a Bad Times plan with the ability to make my own power and provide my own food.

I have written about all of these things not to scare people, but to help them. Some will think I have taken too many precautions, and am extreme. But I consider it insurance. After all, I insure my house against burning down, and never expect that to happen. But if it did, the consequences would be devastating. Ditto for a depression or protracted recession. I can always put the cash back to work or buy a trophy house, and I still have backup power for the next ice storm or grid failure. Why not prepare, when it builds confidence about whatever might be coming?

It’s also why I took another uncharacteristic step, and set up the xurbia.ca web site. Selling physical products is not my thing, although I have owned retail stores, small hotels and restaurants in the past. But after spending months finding the tools I wanted for my own family’s security, I knew this was something worth sharing. So I went through the process of becoming a dealer for leading companies in everything from wind, solar, power storage and generation to event preparedness and seeds.

There may be enough like-minded citizens to make the effort worthwhile. Maybe not. But I was doing it for myself anyway.

One thing’s for sure – there will be people, probably many, who see this in an entirely different light. Like the guy who left this comment for me today:

Just like lenders got innocent people to borrow money they could not pay back, so are you doing the same with your book and gadgets, using innocent people’s fear to buy your useless products. I will never buy your book nor will even have a look at your survival gadgets, the world is not going to end.

No it’s not. Not in my house.

105 comments ↓

#1 Bulls eye on 01.09.09 at 10:37 pm

The comment should bear no effect – that is a typical reaction of a Greater Fool, they will continue to swim with the rest. Besides your position was to advise the risks in this mess. If big boys can’t understand a book writen for grown ups then they shouldn’t comment on it.

#2 midas on 01.09.09 at 10:42 pm

Well said Garth! Noah too was considered to be let’s say unwise by his peers, but then the flood came and took them all away. Lot’s own sons-in-law mocked his warnings and got vaporized along with Sodom and Gomorrah. Even till the summer of 1939 the majority failed to heed the warnings about Hitler and ignored all signs of coming catastrophe; so too the mockers of the day will be silenced in the too distant future. It will be a day we do not look forward to but if history teaches us anything; it teaches that history will repeat itself. If I were you I would turn up the doomsday warnings several notches, nay I would crank the volume on the doomsday speaker warning all the way. Those who take heed will thank thee; those who don’t do so at their own peril.

#3 RoyT on 01.09.09 at 10:42 pm

Vancouver, the next financial capital of North America…. as soon as they can pay off this $875M debt from the Olympics…. wouldn’t want to be paying property taxes in Vancouver!

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2009/01/09/bc-council-olympic-village.html#socialcomments

#4 Gord In Vancouver on 01.09.09 at 10:59 pm

This, of course, happened on a day we learned 71,000 more Canadians become unemployed last month, as 524,000 Americans joined them. Last year 2.6 million people in the US saw their jobs evaporate, and the annual rate is now 6 million. This hasn’t happened since World War Two ended the Great Depression. In Canada we’ve shed almost 150,000 jobs in two months. It’s a disaster.

Yikes !!!!

Seems like only yesterday when the media (and society) couldn’t stop repeating the “labor shortage” mantra. Canadians who have to postpone or get out of retirement are in for a shock.

#5 Chris L on 01.09.09 at 11:05 pm

I enjoyed that post.

Need some super blogger help!

Is Guelph, Ontario immune?

http://www.homesinguelph.ca/cs/web/blogs/guelph_real_estate_blog/archive/2009/01/09/guelph-real-estate-statistics-december-2008-residential.aspx

I keep telling them that it’s coming, but the stats haven’t reflected a downturn YET. I still think it’s there and coming. Our listings are way down, people are waiting. Spring… it’s going to hit. Any thoughts?

#6 midas on 01.09.09 at 11:14 pm

There is NEWS as broadcast on mainstream TV and printed in major newspapers. Then there is TRUTH rarely found where the majority looks. Truth that is verifiable and explains the reason and cause of problems, economic or otherwise, in a reasonable and logical fashion. Truth that is obvious to discern, and that does not arise out of Spin City. Here are two examples:

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1231528442.php

http://news.goldseek.com/DailyReckoning/1231536697.php

#7 Deja vu? on 01.09.09 at 11:41 pm

It takes balls for a prominent figure to make public pronouncements like these. Garth’s putting his reputation on the line (and he knows it, I’m sure). It’s an interesting twist. I’m very appreciative of Garth’s advice, and I hope none of us have to benefit from it.

I wonder which columnist/reviewer will be the first accuse him of wearing a tin-foil hat.

In the coming weeks and months, many will accuse Garth of trying to sell not only books this time, but generators, seeds, and solar. They’ll say that he’s using fear for marketing, that he’s manufacturing a crisis for profit. Maybe they’re right, who knows.

But if that’s your line of thinking, ask yourself this: Did you think that Garth was just out to sell books when he wrote Greater Fool? And how do you feel about your real estate now?

#8 Irene A Gates on 01.10.09 at 12:20 am

Hi Garth,

I just ordered a copy of “After the Crash”.

You’d probably like my place: I have 100 acres of mature forest halfway between Campbellville and Kilbride with a mortgage of $80K, a 900 square foot cabin heated by a high-efficiency woodstove, an infinite supply of clean water, and a generator. Alas, no broadband, but you can’t have everything.

Might I be just slightly less vulnerable than average to the slide in real estate values, or is that wishful thinking? I may want to sell in a year or two in order to move to Europe.

Irene

#9 Jeff Smith on 01.10.09 at 12:21 am

think banks in canada will some day unload houses for these kind of prices?? woo!! I will be able to afford one for sure.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/08/real_estate/thousand_dollar_homes/index.htm?ref=patrick.net

#10 islander on 01.10.09 at 12:32 am

The problem with people like the ostrich who accused Garth of scare tactics is that he will keep his head in the sand until his job, well-being or security is threatened. Having taken zero steps to protect himself, he will emerge demanding that government (i.e. I, the taxpayer) take care of him.

People who live in cities all their lives are dangerously disconnected from what I’d call the real world. Talk to some of your friends who live or were brought up on farms. Nothing Garth has written on this blog would come as a surprise or be considered a ‘scare tactic.’ I’m not sure it would even be called emergency preparedness. It’s called “normal life.”

One day without electricity. One day of disrupted natural gas supplies or no returned call from the heating oil company. One day without working ATMs. One bank holiday. One chartered bank failure. One day where fresh produce doesn’t make it across the border because President Jeebus has announced an Emergency Food Security Act suspending food exports for a week, or a month.

People will look around and start enumerating who and what is most important to them: spouse, kids, house. Everything else will be up for grabs.

Sheesh, I’m old enough to remember going to $1.49 Day at Woodwards where little old ladies no more than 5 feet tall would throwing flying elbow smashes at each other to get at the shampoo or tube socks. What will grown men be willing to do to feed their kids?

I may be a pessimist, but I hold a special reserve of contempt for ostriches: refuse to plan and then ask me to bail you out.

Don’t come knocking on my door.

#11 Alex Curylo on 01.10.09 at 12:34 am

“… using innocent people’s fear to buy your useless products. I will never buy your book nor will even have a look at your survival gadgets, the world is not going to end.”

Hey, at least he’s starting to move from denial to anger. That’s a start!

#12 Bruce on 01.10.09 at 12:40 am

I’ve seen people grousing in comments on other blogs about how terrible it is that you’ve opened a store. Apparently it makes you some sort of sellout or something. I’m not very likely to buy anything there (heck, I haven’t even looked at it) but I don’t get that attitude. Does starting a blog mean that you have to do everything for free for the rest of your life? Good thing I haven’t started one, then.

#13 kc on 01.10.09 at 1:25 am

Garth, I have been looking over the numbers at statscan (link to follow) and maybe you can answer how some of these tallies are tallied… are these jobs a combination of full and part time? or are these full time only? and when will they update these numbers to include 2008? By just looking at these numbers 2 main areas scream out over the last 4 years… this is the steady decline in forestry jobs and the manufacturing sectors. If you want more indepth sectors click on the sector to the left side of the lists and you can see where the employed numbers breakdown. If I understand this properly in 07 there were a total of 14,306,826 jobs in Canada. Can you or anyone say if these are full time jobs?

http://www40.statcan.gc.ca/l01/cst01/labr71a-eng.htm

thanks

#14 confused and a little crazed on 01.10.09 at 3:10 am

Hi Garth,

I attended a meeting today of professionals. We all belong to the same association, like other professional associations such as accountants, nurses, engineers. Every professional designation has an association which we all pay membership fees to.

Well Today in attendance there were about 24- 28 of us. I won’t belabor you with the details but apparently 4 attendees were given either lay off notices…suggested to leave, subtlety…The company was being sold, you position is no longer needed.

Another 2 mentioned they missed the 1st round of layoffs. He actually had a # to go with the layoffs; 30 % of the staff in Greater Vancouver will be let go. As you can guess this meeting was held in Vancouver, BC.

If you do the math that is about 20 % of us will be unemployed before the 1 st quarter. For the most part people believe 2009 will be worst than 2008 and it’s still only January. As you might have also guessed 2 of the industries are Construction and heavy Equipment manufacturer (more assembly than manufacturer…the making of the large components are off shore).

I know the real estate ex..( REE). poster doesn’t concern himself with economics and how diverse industries are important to the economy.

He/ She …let’s just say he insists on Vancouver will be the finance/ trade centre of the world.

He mentioned something about the movie industry here. Do you think BC can even compare to Bollywood, HK films or even the Much music sponsored events for movies, and celebrity/ fashion shows in Toronto?

Even Companies such as Merck and Frost and RIMM are in Ontario…but no all these top industries players will be moving here to Vancouver because REE say so.

Your comment about “The Chinese and Iranian population will never reduce their property prices…it’s not in their culture to do so…instead they will simply fill their homes with more and more relatives”

The Persian community do not all come from Iran and therefore not all of them come from Tehran either. It a beautiful city with a very diverse population and industry…more so than BC. Some Persians do not like being referred to as Iranians. Nothing wrong with Iranian people but that is a broad ignorant generalization. That’s like saying all Asian people come from china. But I know you won’t do unbiased research . You just go by your opinions and deem yourself an expert.

I like Vancouver but from a business perspective we are way off. China has a better chance…they have way more untapped natural resources and they are unhindered with the Canada regulations.

I hope everyone here stay healthy and happy even you real estate ex… because 2009 will be rough

#15 confused and a little crazed on 01.10.09 at 3:12 am

Sorry Your Comment was referring to the Real estate guy not you Garth

#16 Future Expatriate on 01.10.09 at 3:18 am

Garth, you’re doing a tremendous service by the xurbia website. I’ve been looking for wind power for more than two years, could only find stuff available for sale in the UK, and for far more than the unit and system you found. Ditto generators, I wouldn’t have known where to start. I haven’t even checked out the food and other sections of the site yet.

Ignore the envious and the asinine, as you always do, and thank you for sharing what you’ve found, unlike most, who with their selfish “every man for himself” attitude, keep their discoveries a secret.

#17 Future Expatriate on 01.10.09 at 3:19 am

P.S. Who’s the guy in the photo, I’ve got a job for him.

#18 TUF on 01.10.09 at 3:57 am

Garth,

I can only take a lot of what you say with a grain of salt. You have the rare luxury of living off hardworking tax serfs via your lavish government pensions.
It seems you will do anything for the Great Unwashed except get off their backs.
You intimate that you have quite a history of entrepreneurial and investment success — if so, congrats: but give back the public pensions!

My MP’s pension is $26,000 a year. I donate it. — Garth

#19 guava.ca on 01.10.09 at 5:02 am

Toronto MOI still climbing

http://guava.ca/indicators.html

#20 Derrin on 01.10.09 at 6:09 am

“In Canada we’ve shed almost 1.5 million jobs in two months” – Garth

Two months don’t make a trend and if you wanted to present the info in a fair way you would have finished posting the remainder of that article’s stat……. That overall Canada had a net gain of 100,00 jobs for the year 2008.

“nominal wages are stagnant” – Shedlock

Nominal wages have been stagnant for years! I guess we have been in a depression since the 1980’s

Those are comforting words to the jobless. Jerk. — Garth

#21 gloom and doom on 01.10.09 at 6:59 am

I was listening to David Wolfe speak last week and he pointed out that the over supply of houses in Canada is far worse than that of the US in the early part of the downturn; one reason he thinks a bust here could be worse than most people think.

#22 miketheengineer on 01.10.09 at 7:58 am

Garth:

Unfortunately, there are lots of people that won’t or can’t be able to afford “cheap” survival stuff, including me. So here is a list of stuff that I found.

Scouting Activities:

Walmart – Sleeping bags, good price, quality and available for -20C. If not on shelf, as manager to get them, and they will. Didn’t see any oil lamps. They have generators, and emergency back up power packs. Cost is o.k. but not the quality of the stuff on your web site. Lots of camping stuff too, thought I was not really interested in Coleman stuff.

Dollar Store – Great place for candles, by far cheaper and greater quantity than any other place. Same for matches etc. Very cheap right now and in large supply.

Canadian Tire – Disappointed with their stock, or lack of. Found one oil lamp, coleman lamp etc. Gas cans had missing pieces, water cans either too small or not available. They do have a better selection of generators and emergency power packs. Could order through web site.

Bottom line, try and get what you need now, while stock is available and price is reasonable. Not everyone can afford a back up generator and most people without cash won’t be able to get one. But everyone can afford some decent cold weather sleeping bags and some candles and matches.

When you don’t have much money, you do what you can.

Thoughts on oil.

(1) In Canada in general, there is tons of oil, and nat gas. (2) In Canada, according to the Professors I had at University, we have at least a 500 year supply of coal in the ground. So Canada has enough energy to weather any storm, should we as a people choose to use this source we can. In South Africa, they have chemical plants that make gasoline from Coal, no oil….it is expensive, but can be done. Oil is just the easiest form of energy. There is no shortage of energy, now or ever, at lease in our life time, in Canada. We have supply and distribution issues, yes, but no real shortage of the raw materials necessary to heat our homes. We are just dependent on nat gas and oil, because they are “easy” to use forms of energy.

Back in the 30’s they had coal and boilers to heat their homes. They used wood stoves….etc. They now make compact stoves for homes that burn coal, wood, corn etc. We can revert back to this method.

Mike

Need feed back on water purifiers…looked at camping stuff, but did not find what I wanted.

#23 kc on 01.10.09 at 9:10 am

#22 miketheengineer

“Back in the 30’s they had coal and boilers to heat their homes. They used wood stoves….etc. They now make compact stoves for homes that burn coal, wood, corn etc. We can revert back to this method.”

Mike, I am curious as to where you live. Here in the GVRD (greater vancouver regional district) wood burning stoves, and fireplaces are banned in new construction. (something to do with urban smoke bylaws… global warming and the rest of that crap) the only way you can have a wood burning stove or fireplace in use is if you have an older home that was built with one in it and use the grandfather clause, other wise if you tear down your old home and build a new one forget it. I think Terason gas has the monoloply on your fuel intake here in BC. (GVRD) I remember well in the early 80’s when the push was on for all new houses to be built with this new thing called natgas, the mantra was CHEAP NEVER ENDING supply and would be the greatest thing since sliced bread for home owners…. jump ahead 25 years and WOW every new home has this heating… cheap… well that went out with the horse and buggy….. tell any survivour of the sod shacks on the praries (during the 30’s) about they burning wood and coal and you will be read the riot act…

One other thing that I would like to point out is that all the new home – subdivision construction areas have NO YARDS – for the people that plunk down 450K for that tiny piece of lot with a HUGE house, I pitty your garden. all the seeds you want still need soil to make them grow. Rent a house with a yard.

cheers

#24 real estate expert on 01.10.09 at 9:25 am

#18 Garth

“”My MP’s pension is $26,000 a year. I donate it. — Garth””

That was more succinct than anything else you have written to this point this blog site.

(but using words like Jerk and Idiot is beneath you).

#3 Roy T…Olympic Village $$$

@$1 Billion cost…1,100 suites…do the Math first before you generalize.

#14 Confused and a little Crazed

I was referring to Iranian ex pats who left before the Ayatolla.

Bollywood…Shiamak Davar has a second home on the North Shore…(originally Persian > Zorastrian and from Mumbay).

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged thread
Great reading…

http://tiny.cc/oeAX0

Thought you’d be happy being a jerk. — Garth

#25 kc on 01.10.09 at 9:31 am

It is a shame about the auto industry, however, here is a site that I read every couple days, here is a link to the sub cat about just shut downs and layoffs across Canada in the forest industry. you guys in the auto have nothing on the woods in Canada for lost jobs….

check this out….

http://foresttalk.com/index.php/c28/

#26 Kash is King on 01.10.09 at 10:46 am

Here’s US Dem. Rep. Dennis Kucinich calling for the Federal Reserve to be folded into the US Treasury, so the American people can reclaim monetary control for themselves.

He says “Federal Reserve No More “Federal” Than Federal Express!”

Also is calling for the end of the Fractional Reserve system of banking in the US.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR2EtMteHCg

#27 jess tree on 01.10.09 at 11:02 am

truth is a lagging indicator …

forfeit isn’t a crime it is just a penalty…

“the bank deliberately removed customer information so that wire transfers would pass undetected.”

WASHINGTON

Lloyds TSB Bank PLC has agreed to forfeit $350 million US for helping customers skirt U.S. sanctions on business transactions with Sudan, Iran and Libya. The bank admitted responsibility for criminal conduct under a prosecution deal filed yesterday in federal court in Washington. The U.S. Justice Department said”

transparency who are the dark pools?

#28 Strataman on 01.10.09 at 11:07 am

Self sufficiency is a smart survival plan IF you do not live in a community. My family has a recreation property which we have owned for some 20 years and due to it’s location in the BC Chicotin area has always required us to never depend on services. We often go up in the wintwer and have to snowmobile in as the roads are not plowedd. We are okay as long as we can get out of the city which we cannot control! Self sufficient in suburbia? Well I for one would not like to be in the only house on the block that had power, food and warmth unless I had an AK 47 with a lot of rounds! No individual despite what they do, can survive for instance a three week power failure if they are the only house with food and warmth, you will either have to share or fight for i! A better invesment is being active in Civil Defence type organizations because the only strength is in NUMBERS not individual “me” philosophy! Or you better not have any close neighbours!

#29 Bottoms_Up on 01.10.09 at 11:39 am

RE: Islander #10
“Sheesh, I’m old enough to remember going to $1.49 Day at Woodwards where little old ladies no more than 5 feet tall would throwing flying elbow smashes at each other to get at the shampoo or tube socks. What will grown men be willing to do to feed their kids?”
—————–
LMFAO

RE: xurbia.ca
I was impressed by the effort that went into organising this site, and its clarity. Garth presents multiple options ranging from the cheap to the expensive. For instance, you can buy a solar panel ‘sheet’ that can power an ipod or flash light or radio (costs around $100), and it folds up and can be easily transported. There is even a small solar panel that can sit on your dashboard and keep your car battery warm in the winter!! Thanks again Garth for providing this service.

#30 Bottoms_Up on 01.10.09 at 11:40 am

ps.
RE: The guy in the photo.

It takes roughly 15 publications to be accepted on staff at a Canadian university.

#31 real estate expert on 01.10.09 at 11:46 am

Olympic Village update…

“”After the Olympics, the village will be converted into 1,100 condominium units, only 750 of which are being sold at market price (there is also rental and social housing).””

…Simple solution really…if necessary, sell the other 350 units as condos as well. (I believe 250 were social housing and 100 were rental units…if that is what it takes to level the financial playing field)

I’m sure this post will get Lefty, communist responses…but imo they won’t make any logic…if the taxpayers are on the hook, taxpayers have the right to make changes.

#32 pjwlk on 01.10.09 at 11:56 am

I just heard from my R/E friend who has been stationed weekends at a builders sales office in in Whitby ON for the last 4 months. They haven’t sold a thing since she’s been there and now she’s been told that they are going to close the office for one year!

I told her she was wasting her time there… worked 4 months of weekends for free! C’est la vie…

#33 confused and a little crazed on 01.10.09 at 12:11 pm

Derrin post 20 #,

If the net gain in jobs are those in the retail, Customer service sector while the lost jobs are in manufacturer , engineers and computer science…It doesn’t really help does it?

If you ask a programmer if he has heard any of the comp jobs moving offshore. He’ll say lots going to india and some China.

The wage disparity between a starbucks clerk and a programmer is pretty extreme

#34 Blacksheep on 01.10.09 at 12:20 pm

People feeling the need to prepare, will.

People not feeling the need, won’t.

Remember whatever YOUR choice,

IF our society faces significant challenges,

the odds are high that the government will not be able to bail you out, you cannot expect aid from others,

you will be on your own.

take care
BS

#35 Gord In Vancouver on 01.10.09 at 12:26 pm

#31 real estate expert

Olympic Village update…

“”After the Olympics, the village will be converted into 1,100 condominium units, only 750 of which are being sold at market price (there is also rental and social housing).””

…Simple solution really…if necessary, sell the other 350 units as condos as well. (I believe 250 were social housing and 100 were rental units…if that is what it takes to level the financial playing field)

I’m sure this post will get Lefty, communist responses…but imo they won’t make any logic…if the taxpayers are on the hook, taxpayers have the right to make changes.

I agree with you 100%.

You have to remember; however, that mayor Robertson promised to end homelessness and that implementing your suggestion would make him look like a hypocrite.

#36 Marina on 01.10.09 at 1:24 pm

I am pretty sure Garth’s web site and all the books is the Government Project.
Definately economic disaster is coming and shortage of service &food%fuel will be on the road. But the government doesn’t want to inform citizens through the official media about it – they prefer to deal through this kind of people as Garth anf the like.

The point is many countries already have this type of “informers” & blogs telling people about coming tough times. All of them are paid by government.

Garth was not elected – this is part of the Plan as well. People have more sympaty for him in this case.

Is there intelligent life on your planet? — Garth

#37 dd on 01.10.09 at 1:31 pm

#31 real estate expert

“I believe 250 were social housing and 100 were rental units”

Oh … is that your plan for affordability in Vancouver North? Social housing.

Vancouver prices are going to come down hard.

#38 Lana on 01.10.09 at 1:40 pm

Chapters – on-line shopping: GARTH, why do you charge more than Chapters does?

(1) My books are signed.
(2) They don’t have any books yet, but will take your money.
(3) I am charging less than the cover price
(4) Buy it wherever you want. — Garth

#39 coll on 01.10.09 at 1:57 pm

I think the xurbia.ca site is great to have available. Even if it’s just a starting point to get one thinking about the possibilities available out there, compare prices…just for the convenience of not doing the research… the legwork… as we try to staighten other things out first. I find it a comfort to know it’s there, as Garth says…we buy fire insurance, and God forbid we ever have to use it.

#40 Makeorbreak on 01.10.09 at 2:02 pm

Garth: “I was staring at some bouncebacks – emails indicating key journalists I had known for years had just lost their jobs.”

If the unfortunate journalists include:

-John Robson
-Ezra Levant
-Lysiane Gagnon
-Barbara Amiel
-Diane Francis
-Barbara Yaffe
-Barbara and Jonathan Kay

sorry, but I don’t feel sorry for them…(I just couldn’t help it!)

#41 PhD on 01.10.09 at 2:07 pm

Hi Garth,

The photo is real or is it a Adobe job ?
and where was that taken ?

btw I enjoy your website …you saved me too…I was going to buy a house in Calgary for 430,000…I don’t know how much it is now ? maybe 380,000? and with a high interest rate …

Cheers,
PhD

#42 womp on 01.10.09 at 2:51 pm

Miketheengineer:

Just a quick comment on dollar store candles. You have to be careful about them – many of them are made with a strip of lead inserted into the wick to make them burn slower, as well as a host of other toxic chemicals. You can see the lead insert in the wick if you look at them. Burning candles with this lead insert can put enough lead into the system of an infant to exceed federal health guidelines.

More information on those candles from BC Hydro

#43 Grantmi on 01.10.09 at 3:08 pm

#32 I told her she was wasting her time there… worked 4 months of weekends for free!

FOR FREE!! What! Was she on crack! Why would you have worked there for free… knowing what you knew!

I guess even friends don’t want to listen to the truth.

I’m definitely seeing this now. We sold our home in Toronto in 2005 to move back to the Couv!! We refused to buy into this market in 2005. Our family and friends thought WE WERE ON CRACK!!

Now who’s smoking the pipe!!

Glad we didn’t! I’m sitting on a wack of cash from our home in TO… and watching till we bottom out here in 2011 or 2012 or ????!~!~!~!

yIPPPEEE!!

#44 TUF on 01.10.09 at 3:34 pm

re: Pension:

I will further ad that, imho, your pension decision increases your credibility considerably. You are living the same ideas you propound, and not, like what must be 99.99% of MPs, off the sweat of taxpayers.

How many MPs do you know? And who pays you? — Garth

#45 GrandePrairiegirl on 01.10.09 at 4:29 pm

#36 Marina
ROFLMAO
Whatever you’re smoking I want some.
A lot of things in this world are engineered/orchestrated/planned/manipulated.
I highly doubt this blog or Xurbia are one of them.

#46 TUF on 01.10.09 at 4:52 pm

Sigh. Garth, I try to acknowledge an error on my part, give you a modicum of credit, and IMMEDIATELY you cast aspersions upon me.

Each return visit here is becoming more tedious than the one before.

I know how to fix that. — Garth

#47 dekethegeek on 01.10.09 at 4:56 pm

#35 Gord in Van and #31 Real Estate Expert
I agree with both of you, Have you seen todays Vancouver Sun , Olympic village cost estimate ?
$875,000,000.00
Wooooo Hooooo !
BC Taxpayers get to find out what Montreal went through !

#48 double mike on 01.10.09 at 5:48 pm

Hmm… Interesting…
1. G&M haven’t published comments on TREB December figures yet. Usually they’re pretty fast on this.
2. http://www.mls.ca has been completely useless since mid of December.

Is it just my paranoia?

#49 real estate expert on 01.10.09 at 6:06 pm

#46 Gordie Howe Retired in Vancouver & Deke the Geek, aka the Geek in Pink(great Jason Mraz song btw)

…1100 suites costing $1.1 billion is $100K per suite to build…they are worth what…$300K each absolute minimum…ok, the sensasionilist neo communists will never admit $300K per suite will fly, so lets say $200K per suite…City of Vancouver makes a clean $1.1 billion…before Real Estate Commissions.

…I think half the 750 units are pre sold for $400 or $500K each…so whats the big bruh ha ha all about, really?

If any came up for sale for $200K each, even gilles Duceppe,(Bloc Quebecois) and Jack Layton, (NDP) will each buy one or two of’em.

…Sheesh…Newsmedia can be so sensasionilist and truly annoying sometimes….THE FREAKING SKY IS FALLING, THE FREAKING SKY IS FALLING.

Enough of one man’s rant.

#50 realtor slayer on 01.10.09 at 6:11 pm

Hey!!!!

PHD boy!!!!

Lots of work here, keep your dignity and earn up to
$85K a year because of your PhD:

New bright future… no catches!!!!!

#51 kc on 01.10.09 at 6:13 pm

46 dekethegeek on 01.10.09 at 4:56 pm #35 Gord in Van and #31 Real Estate Expert
I agree with both of you, Have you seen todays Vancouver Sun , Olympic village cost estimate ?
$875,000,000.00
Wooooo Hooooo !
BC Taxpayers get to find out what Montreal went through !

the worst part of this whole 5 golden rings crap is that ONLY the population of Vancouver got to vote on the outcome of getting the “Holy Experience” while the rest of the province (FEAR NOT) will be paying for this 500B dollar party when all the costs are added up. Gotta love the blind asses who will be passing the costs… and then… hope of shimmering bright lights… the RCMP bill for security…. thanks to the rest of Canadain tax payers for picking up the rest of that tab…..

#52 kc on 01.10.09 at 6:58 pm

48 real estate expert

…1100 suites costing $1.1 billion is $100K per suite to build…they are worth what…$300K each absolute minimum…ok, the sensasionilist neo communists will never admit $300K per suite will fly, so lets say $200K per suite…City of Vancouver makes a clean $1.1 billion…before Real Estate Commissions.

Either your calculator is BUSTED or my pen is lieing to me… isn’t 1000 X 1,000,000 a billion?? so each suite costs 1M to build…

“When you talk about the cost of it, remember that there is a product at the end of the day,” she said. “This is a beautiful project with 1,000 units of housing in it and a lot of inherent value.”

and….

The tanking real estate market means the project may be much less lucrative than originally thought, with 70 per cent of its market units left unsold.

taken from the Van Sun….

City on the hook for billion-dollar Olympic village blunder

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/City+hook+billion+dollar+Olympic+village+blunder/1163365/story.html

#53 Jordan on 01.10.09 at 7:29 pm

#30 — In Chemistry or Biochemistry you certainly don’t need 15 publications to get a position, but I would agree that someone with a PhD plus three post-docs who only has six publications needs to scrounge up some more.

That, and the fact that a candidate has been through three post-docs without finding a permanent position would scare off many employers.

#54 RJAG2034 on 01.10.09 at 7:46 pm

$1 billion / 1100 units is about $900,000 per suite to build. The athletes must need granite counters and marble floors.

#55 real estate expert on 01.10.09 at 7:46 pm

#45 Tuff

…Garth has difficulty with a compliment…

It’s because of that old crowd he hung out with in Ottawa…any compliment his way usually came with a stab in the back later in the day.

…I’m sure there are a few tidbits he can share with us here…or is he compiling a tell all autobiography…later turned into a feature film…starring Emma Thomson and Meryl Streep.

I’d like to audition for Garth’s role ,but with it being such a desirable role, no doubt Hugh Jackman will get it.

#56 EW on VI on 01.10.09 at 7:51 pm

48 REE – Vancouver will never become the next financial capital if you have any input.

1.1B for 1100 suites is 1.1 million per buddy.

I kinda liked ya til now…..YOU’RE FIRED….

#57 sutluc on 01.10.09 at 7:52 pm

#48 REE:
1.1 billion divided by 1100 is one million, not one hundred thousand.
Apparently you are not a math expert.

#58 EW on VI on 01.10.09 at 7:56 pm

sorry – typo – cookin dinner – 1 mil per….

you’re still fired…..

#59 midas on 01.10.09 at 8:30 pm

#9 Jeff Smith – $1000 Homes

I recall a few years ago, ten at most, that a house in Winnipeg was listed for $5000. Methinks we will see such (Un) Happy Days again in Canada in the next few years.

#60 American Expat & Future Canuck on 01.10.09 at 8:59 pm

Another shoe(s) is about to drop?…
Yesterday “Senior Bush administration officials, consulting with the Obama transition team, have prepared a plan to ask lawmakers for the second half of the $700 billion financial rescue package…” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/09/AR2009010902846.html?hpid=topnews)
Why can’t they wait till the new administration is sworn in before asking for the rest of the TARP money? Makes you wonder, what does the Bush and Obama administration know that we don’t? Maybe it’s time to face the music and accept the fact that …WE are in one…a DEPRESSION that is!

PS…for those of you who are wondering the picture above is a real picture and was taken by a rickz in the spring of 2007 and originally posted on flickr under a “Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License”. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rickz/463270685/#comment72157600089430841) and Garth…Rickz does want proper attribution for his pic:-)

Now he’s got it. — Garth

#61 Derrin on 01.10.09 at 9:28 pm

Hmmmm….

America – 2.6 million job losses

Canada – 100,000 net gain

Can you say Soothsayer?

Or maybe I’m just not cool.
I mean ….a friend said once that you can die from a coconut falling on your head while your on vacation. So, I thought maybe she wanted me to wear a hockey helmet while I am on vacation….?

Fear sucks……why spread it. Because it sells. If you were a true public figure you would have stopped at the last book: “The Greater Fool”
It was accurate an honest.

Cheers,

I have no idea what your agenda is, but to pretend that 150,000 jobs were not lost in the last two months defies economic reality and demeans tens of thousands of families who need support, sympathy and advice. Nobody wants your disdain and ideological arrogance. Shame on you. — Garth

Read this: Prepare for substantial job losses, Tories warn

#62 Derrin on 01.10.09 at 9:41 pm

“I have no idea what your agenda is…” -Garth

I have on agenda unlike you!

#63 dekethegeek on 01.10.09 at 9:46 pm

#50 KC

Yeah I agree with you, it sucks that the rest of the BC taxpayers will be shucking out tax dollars for the “Security bill, Sea to Sky Whistler Hwy upgrade, the convention center, the Olympic village fiasco. Sky Train expansion, Etc.Etc.Etc. And then the VANOC Committee has the nerve to ask for thousands of volunteers to help with the “extravaganza” . Taxpayer Revolt ! Just say No!
Just wait til this time next year when the new Mayor of Vancouver realizes the only way he can get rid of all the homeless before “O” Day is to change the Mental Health Act and Round ’em Up! Riverview is 80% vacant ! Lets put em there.
Why Cities and countries keep vying for the Olympics escapes me. But what the hell, I’m just a geek.

#64 Derrin on 01.10.09 at 9:49 pm

I read your link and I don’t dispute the fact job losses are terrible. I also don’t dispute the fact that there will be job losses. I dispute your continously backing your conclusion by using American examples.
That is my agenda if you want to call it that.

This doesn’t equate to the crap that the Americans are going through.

Wait. — Garth

#65 dd on 01.10.09 at 9:58 pm

#48 real estate expert

“THE FREAKING SKY IS FALLING, THE FREAKING SKY IS FALLING”

No. But your West Coast city is crashing like all cities worldwide. It doesn’t matter if it going to be the next financial capital of the coast. There will be a lot of pain for a lot of people. Try and get out of the clouds or put down that BC bud for a while.

Knowledging that there is a problem is the first step in any recovery.

P.S. Your rants make little sence. You do little fundamental analysis. And most of the time you don’t know what you are talking about.

#66 Got A Watch on 01.10.09 at 10:39 pm

Good work Garth. I came over here on a link from a commenter over at Mish’s Blog

If you people want to get your doom straight up, no mix, Mish is the man. He has been calling all the current economic events correctly for years, and was always called a pessimist, or worse. But the critics aren’t laughing now, everything he called for has come to pass.

He is convinced we are in a deflationary Depression, and it will last for many years. Not what inflationista’s want to hear, but the truth. He is an Austrian economist, and debunks the modern Keynesians and monetarists on a daily basis.

Many Blogs have called the current crisis correctly, but they tend to be “goldbugs”, and they almost all see hyper-inflation as the outcome. It may well be, but that will be a few years away, if ever, after the deflation has run it’s course. Mish called it right, and how to trade it as well, a rare combination indeed.

One other Blog and Forum I can recommend is Karl Denninger at Marlet Ticker. He has called it pretty much all correct as well, and is hardcore deflationista. Also has excellent trading and economics Forum there. Warning – strong language and opinions, if you are inflationist they will skewer you with merciless deflationist logic.

I’ll look back in here once a while. If you want to debate the economy and deflation, come on over to Mish Blog. Inflationists get short shrift though, you better have your arguments strongly backed with facts.

#67 Derrin on 01.10.09 at 10:47 pm

An article that you don’t need a generator to read.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090109.wjobs_cycle10/BNStory/Front

#68 Got A Watch on 01.10.09 at 10:49 pm

btw, I am in Ontario, and used to be a Real Estate Broker, before I grew up and got a real job.

I remember reading an old real estate book from the 60’s, and the authors words have stuck in my head:

Real estate should be valued, in a normal market, at around 3 X the average family income in an area = price of the average 3 bdrm home, nothing fancy.

Apply that metric to your own real estate market.

If the average home in Toronto is now $344K, they will drop to the $180K-$200K range, which will bring prices back to 1996 levels. This is based on the average family income in the Toronto area falling to the $60K range as the economy contracts sharply.

The same numbers for Vancouver are more, uh, breath taking.

These price declines will take price over 5 years or so from the peak, which projects a bottom about 2012 or so. The average length of a declining price trend in a real estate market is 4 1/2 years, but this bust is epic, so I suggets the bottom is more than 5 years out.

So if you have real estate, and don’t need to hold it, sell now, and rent for 5 years. Then buy your old house back for half the price.

#69 ThumbsUp on 01.10.09 at 10:55 pm

Fear?

As a citizen, a worker, an investor, I see Garth’s books/web site an insurance policy, like the ones we purchased for our cars, houses & empolyment.

#70 real estate expert on 01.10.09 at 11:08 pm

Real Estate Expert will eat some crow.

…I have previously posted that if 2010 had major cost overuns regarding security et al for the actual three weeks of the games, I for one would not have minded curtailing or even cancelling the games….simply spend these $$$ on other new infrastructure.

If however, building 1,100 condo’s at $1 million per was “planned” from the start…that is a boondoggle, or “pork” for someone and who ever signed approved it should be hung out to dry.

I suspect that provincial/fed/business sponsorship $$$ supports the big picture.

…Seriously…Allowing $1 million per for 1,100 units to build, even in peak real estate market conditions is ludicrous.

What is interesting…and not to sway away from this issue…but there is no doubt in my mind,Torontonians would jump at any chance of hosting a Summer Olympics…they would argue it would reinvigorate Toronto and region’s economy.

…BC Provincial Govt has promised a no $$$ loss for hosting 2010…we shall see.

My apology for overlooking this simple calculation.

…It still doesn’t take away from my belief of Vancouver’s future place in the world.

namaste
REE

#71 sourgrapes on 01.10.09 at 11:24 pm

#14 said: “…..Some Persians do not like being referred to as Iranians. Nothing wrong with Iranian people but that is a broad ignorant generalization. That’s like saying all Asian people come from china…….”

Off topic of real estate, but what the heck sense does that statement above make?

FACT: There is only ONE Iran, so the residents ARE damned-well called Iranians, although some of them like to romanticize their origin with the sexy-sounding ‘Puurrshans.”

Furthermore, Asia consists of many separate countries, and the inhabitants are VERY different from each other. A Korean is NOT a Japanese.

#72 avid reader and Garthlover on 01.10.09 at 11:28 pm

Garth, I feel guilty because I can’t afford to buy your book. If I borrow it from my public library, do you (fairly) receive a royalty or some type of income? I’d feel better if you do get some money. Thanks for your loyalty to speaking out honestly

#73 Future Expatriate on 01.11.09 at 12:32 am

The good news: Canada is always about 2 years behind the US, so Canadians get to see the sledgehammer coming that folks in the US didn’t see.

The bad news: Canada’s recovery will ALSO lag about 2 years behind the US.

Say… 2024 instead of 2022…

#74 Nick on 01.11.09 at 2:16 am

Derrin #20: Nominal wages aren’t adjusted for inflation, you’re confusing nominal wages with real wages.

#75 lotusland? on 01.11.09 at 3:31 am

just before new years, there was 230,000 listings on MLS.ca Right after, it dropped dramitally, to about 190,000. Did they sell? I don’t think so. It’s back up to about 195,000 now. What I have noticed is a significant number of them have lowered their asking price. To say nothing of what they would accept. It’s coming…………Joe 6 pack is notthere yet, but it’s coming………….give it 6 months. the 20% drops in the big markets will happen this year……….the only thing that will prevent it is the people who spin the numbers……..

comfortably on the sidelines……….

#76 patriotz on 01.11.09 at 6:32 am

$1 billion / 1100 units is about $900,000 per suite to build. The athletes must need granite counters and marble floors.

That stuff is not being put in for the athletes, it’s for all the rich people who were supposed to buy the units for $1 mil+… whaddaya mean they’re not buying?

#77 real estate expert on 01.11.09 at 9:56 am

Athelete’s Village timeline….

http://www.vancouversun.com/Sports/Olympic+Athletes+Village+timeline/1156867/story.html

includes…

“”April 2006: Millennium Development Corp. bids $193 million to buy the Olympic athletes village site on southeast False Creek, blows away competitors.””

“”October 2007: Millennium begins pre-sales of the first 302 condominium units in the athletes village project at prices ranging from $600,000 to $3.4 million.””

…W..ill this turn out similar to the three Ferry Fast Cats…that cost the BC Province $450 million…which is like $1 billion today.

Never a dull moment for the future Financial/Trade/Lifestyle Capital of North America.

#78 real estate expert on 01.11.09 at 10:13 am

“”On B.C.’s way to dropping $ 1.7 billion, it’s looking more and more like the sustainable athlete’s village featuring low-cost housing will instead morph into private-sector luxury condos subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of $100 million.””

“”Officials and athletes together make up less than 2,500 souls…Figure about two family members per athlete, a similar handful of corporate attendees, plus the several hundred fans who actually follow those sports in odd-numbered years.”””

…If $100 million is the only unforseen unplanned $$$ cost…Vancouver will be getting off easy.

Like I’ve already been promulgating…it wouldn’t bother me one bit to scale back or even cancell the games if $$$costs are too high…better to spend this extra dough on more infrastructure…which would put Vancouver in a world class leading light, having less than a million citizens.

…Now back to the real world of real estate and investment deflation, lost jobs with people in debt to their eyeballs.

#79 dd on 01.11.09 at 10:20 am

#69 real estate,

Like usual, the taxpayer is on the hook for this. Thanks Gordy Campbell.

“no doubt in my mind,Torontonians would jump at any chance of hosting a Summer Olympics…they would argue it would reinvigorate Toronto and region’s economy.”

No doubt, however, at a million dollars a room? Reinvigorate yes, robbery no. Sounds like Vancouver’s future is going to full of high taxes. Not a way to start off for the future financial capital of the west coast.

#80 MBS-guru on 01.11.09 at 10:58 am

#74 – Right on.

I’ve been following 2 houses in my neighbourhood in North Toronto for the past 3 months. Both houses went from $600,000 to $580,000 before their listing expired. One just popped up again last week for $540,000 and the other one yesterday for $535,000.

Yet, i still see much smaller houses in the same neighbourhood listing for $520,000 so something’s gotta give ……. soon. The drop in prices for bigger homes will put extra pressure on smaller homes to lower their prices as well.

I think, once a few start getting desperate and slash prices, others have no choice but to follow suit b/c buyers are not stupid enough to pay for more for the same house within the same neighbourhood.

#81 Mike on 01.11.09 at 11:04 am

Take a look at this arcticle and see how crazy some of these builders are. Apparently they want banks to loosen their lending standands so people can buy houses. I have one question. WTF you think got us into this mess? Unbelievable.

http://www.yourhome.ca/homes/article/568543

#82 Jmack on 01.11.09 at 11:54 am

People milking the system and in need of social housing totally deserve to have prime downtown real-estate, when working families can’t even afford a pot to piss in. End homelessness now, give all homeless a condo in yaletown and create some more fake money to pay for it.

#83 real estate expert on 01.11.09 at 12:23 pm

#78 dd

…What is your real beef?…Common, fess up.

#84 patriotz on 01.11.09 at 1:10 pm

Take a look at this arcticle and see how crazy some of these builders are. Apparently they want banks to loosen their lending standands so people can buy houses.

There’s something the builders can do all by themselves so people can buy houses….

DROP YOUR PRICES!

You were making money 5 years ago weren’t you?

#85 Investx on 01.11.09 at 1:33 pm

#67 Got A Watch

“Real estate should be valued, in a normal market, at around 3 X the average family income in an area = price of the average 3 bdrm home, nothing fancy.

If the average home in Toronto is now $344K, they will drop to the $180K-$200K range, which will bring prices back to 1996 levels. This is based on the average family income in the Toronto area falling to the $60K range as the economy contracts sharply.”

But is this a normal market when you factor in historically low interest rates? Do low interest rates increase affordability, meaning the average price of affordability is higher?

#86 Investx on 01.11.09 at 1:34 pm

Sorry, above should have read:

“…meaning the average price of an affordable home is higher (greater than the 3x factor)?

#87 Future Expatriate on 01.11.09 at 2:11 pm

#75 Patriotz, granite countertops and marble floors are comparatively dirt cheap nowadays, so much so that they’re falling out of fashion since they’ve been “Home Depot-ized” and you can find them in some tenements.

No, I think the price must be all the gold-plated plumbing fixtures and toilets and bidets and lightswitch covers. Ditto double-paned glass walls with a 12 year lifespan before the seals fail.

#88 miketheengineer on 01.11.09 at 3:18 pm

Strange

Everyone seems soo interested in Unemployment numbers.

No one seems to be talking about welfare numbers….anyone know what is going on there…

I know people who have finished with EI and don’t know what to do…

I would be watching the welfare numbers. These numbers would be whole lot more meaningful than EI numbers. I bet by the summer EVERYONE

#89 Investx on 01.11.09 at 3:52 pm

Speaking of unemployment and welfare, think the rate of adults living with their parents is high now? This is nothing.

#90 beer coffee on 01.11.09 at 4:34 pm

Having lived through the aftermath of a cat 4 hurricane I can assure other readers out there that home security will also become incredibly important in the event of real problems such as needing to generate your own electricity. Its not a good idea to be lit up like a christmas tree at night…

Where the fuel will come from if things are really that bad?

#91 double mike on 01.11.09 at 5:07 pm

Investx ##84-85

You can consider another indicator, which takes in account current interest rate, albeit indirectly. Price to monthly rate should be around 100. It is closer to 200 right now.

#92 double mike on 01.11.09 at 5:09 pm

Ops, I meant “price to monthly rent ratio”.

#93 TheComingDepression on 01.11.09 at 7:17 pm

Let me tell you about VANCOUVER. I worked the Vancouver Fashion Show. It was a JOKE, but has incredible potential if someone knows how to do it. Real Estate agents are holding the same open houses from 5 months ago. I am also quite familiar with the movie industry here, its DRIED UP. No auditions, no bright signs no big trucks. Rental condos are adding up and rent is dropping. The restaurants will have their last hooray from Jan 14-Feb 1.. then EMPTY SEATS and laid off workers. Incidentally, no problem with using the kid holding that sign.. http://thecomingdepression.blogspot.com/2009/01/us-could-lose-1-million-jobs-this-month.html

#94 MarkAlfred on 01.11.09 at 8:11 pm

I found your xurbia site interesting. Admittedly, I’m hopeful that society will readjust to the latest economic and environmental realities, rather than feeling (pessimistically) that I should buy a bunch of survival equipment on my own. I do recall NOT panicking in 1999 over various people’s predictions of doom and gloom for the Y2K, and, alas, I recall having a very good New Year’s celebration on Jan 1, 2000. Having said that, however, let me wish you good luck with your pursuits.

#95 Mike B on 01.11.09 at 8:15 pm

mike the engineer #87 Interestingly enough, many years ago unrmployment numbers were calculated by including people of EI as well as part timers , those who give up etc. Certainly if we went back to the old system you would see much higher numbers indeed… In US and Canada.

#96 GenXer on 01.11.09 at 8:32 pm

Does anybody on this blog truly believe that Garth actually PURCHASED a generator and solar panels for his second country home? Or is it more likely that he, being a smart business person, used this blog and his books as a means to get companies to give him free product in exchange for being featured on his new site. And now he is using your fear against you to make money to protect his own family – long live capitalism!

You are right Garth – the risk / reward for putting in a contingency plan for the end of the world was worth it for you – since it probably didn’t cost you a penny. In fact, you are making money off every sale on your new site. For the rest of us average folk, we’d actually have to pay to buy all the stuff you have featured.

FYI – the TSX has made a 2,000 point jump since it bottomed.

Are you on drugs? — Garth

#97 dd on 01.11.09 at 8:58 pm

#82 real estate expert,

What is the beef? You. Since you have been on this site (2 or 3 weeks) you have been writing about the “The booms never going to pop here Vancouver.”

However I do see some reality starting to come into your writings “better to spend this extra dough on more infrastructure.”

Again, Vancouver is a beautiful city, however, it is going to get punished like all over valued real estate in the world. Wake up and smell the Starbucks.

#98 colette on 01.11.09 at 9:23 pm

As a resident of the part of BC that is beyond Hope I am sure like always the rest of BC will be helping to bail out the good citizens of Vancouver.

After all for years the great dangerous part of BC that is past Hope was not worthy of anything more than to be drained of the resources for the betterment of the Golden Triangle.

This time around we might have a little difficulty with the burden of keeping the lights on in Vancouver with the forestry toast, mining folding and a poplace still burning with the sale of BCR and the loss of the passenger service, closures of government offices like courthouses, hospitals (but no worry we are supplied with a bus to get down to Vancouver) and lets not forget the privatization of road maintenance that basically means the less maintenance done equals more profit for the contractor and ultimately roads that are not maintained.

Yes we remember the leaky condos that we also had to help with.

#99 real estate expert on 01.11.09 at 9:42 pm

#95 dd

“”However I do see some reality starting to come into your writings “better to spend this extra dough on more infrastructure.” “”

…Have been suggesting the above since my first appearing on this blog site.

#100 Mike (authentic) on 01.12.09 at 5:51 am

I have lived through a couple of Ontario recessions looking for work. I’ve lived though the Mike Harris days of cutbacks too. It was all not very much fun and I wouldn’t want go through that all again.

…I’ve been following the financial markets closely for years, even more so in the past year and what’s here and what’s coming makes me think it’s going to be a lot worse that those other recessions and living in the Harris years ever was.

If it’s a light depression in Canada, then I’ll take that over a full blown world 1930’s depression. But, I see it could go there too sadly.

Maybe the world will be better without the lust for greed that got us into this mess.

Time to learn from the past as to not repeat the mistakes in the future.

Mike

#101 dd on 01.12.09 at 9:01 am

#98 real estate expert,

Must of skipped over it. You hipe of Vancouver drowned out all other comments.

#102 Michelle on 01.12.09 at 10:17 am

#22 miketheengineer

Hi Mike and Garth:

I’ve been looking around at water purification systems and I like this company out in BC. My favourite is the BioSands as it does not require electricity and relies on gravity to filter.
http://www.watertiger.net/
But I think the shipping costs would be astronomical to Ontario. However I think they are looking for a distributor and I was kind hopin’ Garth might look into as something Xurbia.ca might be able to supply. Thanks.

An excellent point. I have been in touch. — Garth

#103 David Miller - a new order from your boss (the urbae): drop taxes 10% immediatelly! on 01.12.09 at 10:51 pm

Another 10% DROP in GTA prices Dec 2008 vs Dec 2007, but guess what? TREB tells you to calculate it yourself!Were the realtors really exausted trying to put a positive spin to help sucket get back in denial? and pls do not kill the bearer of the bad news: “The average price in December of 2008 came
in at $361,415, compared to $394,931 last
year” Ha-Ha-HA- a minus 9.27%, so YOU LOST more than $46,000 kanatian dollars by buying a 500K MC-House in 2007! Pls do the same in 2009. Someone needs to suck it for the rest of us (that bought in 19998) to prosper.
Ameno.
PS: Let’s start a civil yet persistent campain forcing David Miller to drop taxes 10% immediatelly, now, effective yesterday!

http://www.torontorealestateboard.com/consumer_info/market_news/mw2008/pdf/mw0812.pdf

#104 Jmack on 01.13.09 at 12:18 am

975 million bailout for the Olympic village from city taxpayers? After a no-taxpayer bailout guarantee from politicians. Construction sites shutting down daily. Companies laying off people and pulling business’ out of vancouver daily. 2-3 houses for sale on every street (visible or not). Who would want to buy a place in Vancouver anytime soon???. I’d rather spend my hard earned money on myself than give it to Gregors homeless Bums and the Olympics…I’m sure most would agree.

#105 GTA001 on 01.13.09 at 3:53 am

Garth;

Just reviewed the new xurbia site that is to be on line this week. I noticed that there is a lack of portable non electrical water purification systems. I recommend that you look at the Katadyn system from Switzerland; X-pack, which is used by the US Military and FEMA and the Triton M2 system. The Katadyn system uses a ceramic filter and can produce about 13,000L of water. The portable system has either a limited lifetime or 10 year warranty. I believe it is available at the Mountain Co-op store for about $200. The X-pack system uses a type of reverse osmosis or chemical process that separates the water molecules from the contaminated medium. The Triton M2 uses a similar system aided by a antiviral solution that must be put in the contaminated water. The X-pack system comes with a bag with 3-5 bottles of chemicals and cost $65 dollars. The Triton M2 cost $71 dollars. You may have to google the name of the product to identify the manufacturer. All of the above mentioned products should not be used on water contaminated with sewage or industrial waste. I think one of the systems can work on salt water, but I am not sure.